If you are going through a divorce, there is a lot more to deal with than just the emotional issues. There are also finances to think about. After all, you are going from a two-income to a one-income household, and you need to learn how to adapt so you can actually do more than simply survive from month to month. No matter how difficult the emotional end of things get, you really do have to get a handle on your finances, not only for yourself, but for any dependent children that you are responsible for.
Forget about asking friends, co-workers, etc. for financial advice. They may mean well enough, but they don’t always give the advice you really need, unless of course they are trained financial counselors. Here are a few personal finance tips for divorce that you should read about.
Personal Finance Tips to Keep in Mind When Divorcing
1. Close Joint Accounts
The first thing you need to do is get your own banking accounts, and close out any joint accounts that you hold with your estranged spouse. Remove their names from any accounts that you hold, including any credit cards that are yours but they have been allowed to use. The last thing you want is for an angry ex to run up your credit cards and empty your bank accounts.
2. Open New Accounts
Once you close out your joint bank accounts, it is time to open your own accounts. Make sure that they are set up for bill payments, so you don’t end up getting behind in the important bills. You don’t need to have your electricity, Internet, etc. cut off because you weren’t able to make a payment since the bank accounts have been closed.
3. Change Your Status
You will need to change the relevant information (name, marital status, etc.) on income tax records, post office records, your driver’s license and other licenses, property titles, utility bills, health insurance, professional titles, etc.
4. Change Your Will
This will cost some money because your attorney needs to be involved, but it is worth it should something happen to you after becoming divorced. Make sure that you disinherit your spouse. Take them out of your will, remove them as your power of attorney, etc. You don’t want them making any final decisions on your behalf.
5. Change Beneficiaries
If you have life insurance, you will need to change your beneficiary. Also make sure that you change the beneficiary on your 401(k), IRA, and anything else that you have your spouse named on as beneficiary.
6. Get a Personal Finance App
You need to keep track of your spending now more than ever. So, get yourself a good personal finance app. Use it to track alimony, child support, medical expenses, and any other expenses that are related to the divorce.
7. Get Your Own Credit
If you do not have credit of your own, it is time that you establish some. This can take awhile, but it can also be as simple as opening accounts in your own name, such as utility accounts. As long as you are making payments in full and on time, it will help to establish your credit.
8. Get Credit Counseling
It may be that you have bad credit, and you need to find ways to fix it. The first step is to seek credit counseling. Not only can this help you to learn what you need to do in order to get back on track and stay there, it can also help you manage your debt. Most credit counseling agencies are able to work with your creditors to help bring your bills down to payments that you can manage, even on a single income.
List of tools that may help with finances during divorce
- SupportPay – helps parents split the costs of raising children and review expenses productively when they disagree.
- Sell Macbook – sell your tech gadgets and split the money.
- iSplitDivorce – divides up your assets and debts, to make visual decisions about “who gets what” more quickly.
- Divorce Coping Tip of the Day – emotional and practical tips during the divorce.