Divorce will impact your life in many ways. While it's easy to focus on the personal changes that you're going through, your finances require just as much attention.
Here are several things you can do to protect your finances during divorce:
- Open separate bank accounts: Gone are the days of sharing a bank account with your spouse. Now, it's important to have your own accounts, as you don't want to co-mingle your money. The second you decide to divorce is the second you should open your own bank accounts.
- Close joint credit cards: If you neglect to do this, your soon-to-be ex-spouse could run up a large balance, putting you on the hook for some of the debt. Closing the account takes this risk out of the equation.
- Review your credit report: This will give you a clear idea of where things stand in regard to your finances, which is important when it comes to opening a new credit card account, renting an apartment or buying a vehicle.
- Keep copies of important financial documents: This can include but is not limited to bank account statements, retirement account statements, life insurance policies and tax returns. You'll need these documents during the divorce process. They may also come in handy in the future.
It's not always easy to focus on your finances during divorce, as you have a lot going through your mind. However, once you have a plan in place, you'll feel better about your ability to protect your legal rights. This alone will give you some peace of mind.