Whether you’ve been contemplating getting a divorce for a while now or the troubles with your marriage have become amplified due to the stress, anxiety and fear related to the COVID-19 pandemic – you probably have a lot of questions. One of the most common questions people have about getting a divorce has to do with finances, and “what exactly happens to my money when I get a divorce?”
No matter what circumstances you’re under, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. Making a detailed plan will save you a lot of time and trouble – especially when it comes to managing your finances during a divorce.
How do you prepare for a divorce?
If you are preparing to get a divorce, some steps you should take include:
- Save emails and any other correspondence related to your divorce to document your conversations. If you have a verbal conversation with your spouse, take notes and save those as well.
- Dedicate a file for all your financial records.
- Go online and change the passwords to your email, social media and financial accounts.
- Have your name taken off of any joint credit card accounts.
- Make sure that you have copies of your tax returns.
- Create a budget to identify your monthly expenses and income.
- Gather all your financial statements (bank, credit card, mortgage, etc.) along with investment and retirement account documents.
- Keep paying your bills in full and on time.
- Notify credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your credit reports.
What do you do after your divorce?
If can be a relief once you’re legally separated from your spouse, but there’s still a lot of work to do. After your divorce is finalized, you should:
- Strictly follow your new budget.
- Save enough money to cover six months of expenses in the event of an emergency.
- Close all your joint accounts and open new individual accounts in your name.
- Ensure that your former spouse is no longer listed as a beneficiary on retirement accounts, insurance policies, annuities, etc.
- Call your insurance company and update your coverage/policy.
- Notify the Social Security Administration if your name has changed due to your divorce.
- Consult with your accountant or a financial adviser to go over your investments, retirement plan, and tax implications.
- Make updates to your last will and testament, power of attorney, trusts, and health care directive (commonly referred to as a living will).
Protect your finances with an experienced Belleville divorce attorney
It’s no secret that the process of getting a divorce is complicated, especially when it comes to managing your finances. At Courtney Clark, P.C., our experienced Belleville divorce attorneys have been providing exceptional legal advice and service to clients located throughout southwest Illinois since 2000.
We never take a one-size-fits-all approach when handling your divorce and will take the time to understand your unique needs and goals. We’re focused on your future, and you can count on us when it matters the most. Find out how our Belleville divorce lawyers can help you. Contact us today.