It’s often difficult to know where to begin when it comes to divorce. You’re already angry, upset, and/or grieving that a relationship you hoped would last forever is coming to an end, so it’s only natural to feel helpless and overwhelmed. But you need to take certain steps at the beginning to protect your emotional and financial well-being, so you can better face the future.
Here are some first steps that will put you on more solid ground financially as you prepare for divorce:
- Take a complete inventory of financial records. Gather everything – bank account details, credit card bills, mortgage statements, will, etc. Make copies and keep them in a secure place outside the home.
- Open bank and credit card accounts in your name. Avoid any banks where you and your spouse have joint accounts. Go to a new financial institution and open a new checking and savings account that’s in your name only. Do the same with a credit card account.
- Open a post office box. Once you have set up your own financial accounts, you’ll want statements and other correspondence to go to a postal address that your spouse can’t access. Give yourself peace of mind by opening a post office box and keep the key in a secure location that only you know about.
- Monitor your credit report. This way you’ll know if your spouse is charging gifts and dinners for someone else on your joint credit cards, or if they’re otherwise disposing of marital property or saddling you with debt. Report any suspicious activity to your divorce attorney.
Make no mistake about it: divorce can be an overwhelming experience. But taking these simple steps to safeguard your finances will help you feel more in control and better able to make good decisions about your financial future. If you’re going through divorce, we understand the stress, and we want to help. Please contact us today to learn more!