Getting divorced, like getting married, is a major life event. There is a myriad of different reasons why married couples opt to get divorced, but for many, it's a start of a new chapter.
Couples considering divorce should be forewarned: the aftermath can be financially devastating, especially when shared assets are involved. If financial disputes aren’t resolved before finalizing a divorce, you may find yourself experiencing serious hardships that could jeopardize your assets and retirement.
USA Today offers some tips on how to stay financially secure after a divorce.
Things to consider when getting a divorce
Make a post-divorce budget: After a divorce, you may be taking on separate financial obligations that were once shared between you and your spouse. The cost of a new car, new apartment or house, independent health insurance, other insurance, groceries, and fuel are expenses you should take into account.
Manage costs during a divorce: Getting a divorce will cost money in paperwork fees and court costs. If you’re unsure how much you will be required to pay, it’s best to consult with an experienced divorce attorney who can help ensure that the process goes smoothly.
Divide up marital assets: This process can be very complex and lead to legal disputes. Fairly dividing shared assets that were mutually financed may be challenging. These can include shared possessions, real estate, investment accounts, and business assets. It’s best to discuss this matter with an attorney who is knowledgeable in marital property division.
Handle debt: Taking on debt that is shared between you and your spouse can be financially overwhelming in the aftermath of a divorce. It’s highly recommended that you resolve any outstanding debt prior to finalizing a divorce.
Resolve housing disputes: If you and your spouse own a home together, it’s best to first determine who will get the house after the divorce. Whoever keeps the house should refinance the mortgage so he or she is financially responsible for making the payments.
Resolve financial disputes if kids are involved: If you have children with your spouse, it will first have to be decided who will have custody and who will pay child support. If your children are about to graduate high school and plan to attend college, you may want to consider who will cover college costs and how much will be covered.
Update financial documents: All financial documents must reflect that you are divorced. This includes:
- Changing the titles on automobiles or homes reflecting who owns them
- Changing your will, power of attorney and health care directive
- Removing an ex-spouse from authorized use of credit cards
- Opening new bank accounts in your name
- Changing security passwords on internet accounts
- Changing beneficiaries on retirement and life insurance accounts
Explore your legal options today
The Illinois divorce attorneys at Courtney Clark Law P.C. understand how financially and emotionally overwhelming ending a marriage can be. We want to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible and that assets are divided fairly.
If you’re in the process of getting a divorce, we urge you to explore your legal options. We can help you with that. We offer free, no-obligation case consultations. Contact us online today to get started.