Moving forward after a divorce can be difficult in every way. Of course, some things simply take time, such as working through your emotions. However, there are other things you can take proactive steps towards, such as moving forward financially.
Cancel Joint Accounts
Cancel and close all joint checking, savings, credit, and other accounts with your ex-spouse. Any joint accounts that remain open are liabilities that can come back to hurt you. You don’t need to be responsible if your ex runs up charges on credit cards or overdrafts on your bank account.
Open New Accounts
Make a list of the accounts you had while married and replace them as soon as possible. Open new bank accounts, investment accounts, credit cards, and any other accounts you still need and will use. Depending on your circumstances, applying for new credit cards might make sense before you cancel joint accounts.
Check Your Credit Score
Check your credit score at all three major credit bureaus both during and after a divorce. You can obtain a free credit report. It is recommended that you get your score if you can. If you find errors or other issues on your credit report, contact the bureau immediately and get them resolved. Doing so is essential as it can impact your credit, causing you to pay more for all types of loans and insurance coverage. It might even make it hard for you to rent an apartment or get hired at a new job.
Changing the beneficiaries on your accounts post-divorce is critical. If you fail to do so, your ex might end up with your IRA, 401(k), and other assets after your death. Updating beneficiary designations is an easy process that typically only takes a few minutes and can be completed with a simple form. Most list a primary beneficiary and a contingent beneficiary. Suppose you have executed a new living trust. In that case, your estate attorney can tell you whom to list as the primary and contingent beneficiaries on your financial accounts.
Create an Emergency Fund
As a single individual, it’s imperative to have a cash safety net. Experts recommend that you have six months of living expenses in cash set aside in a bank account or ultra-short-term bond. This way, you have cash that you can easily access on a rainy day.
Retitle Your Assets
After your divorce, you may need to retitle several assets. For instance, if you owned your house in a trust with your spouse, you should retitle it in your name alone or in the name of a new living trust you create.
Need Help Moving Forward Financially After Divorce? Contact a Seasoned Divorce Attorney Today
These steps will help you establish your new finances and help you with a fresh start. You may have already done or started some of them. For the ones you haven’t completed, now is the time. If you need help or have questions about your post-divorce finances, a seasoned divorce attorney can help. Don’t hesitate to contact one today to get your new life off to a great start.