Protect your financial security during a divorce

When a couple decides to divorce, some of the more complicated decisions often involve dividing assets between the two. Often, in a marriage, one partner or the other takes charge of a majority of the financial responsibilities. Consequently, when the split occurs, the other partner may be left somewhat in the dark regarding his or her financial situation.

Consequently, when you are considering getting a divorce, you should first take steps to protect your financial wellbeing following the split. First and foremost, divorcing spouses should ensure they understand where the couple stands financially.

For instance, consider all of the accounts in which you may have investments, including:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Retirement accounts, including 401(k)s and IRAs
  • Other investment accounts

In addition, consider other assets that may have a financial benefit, such as stock options, deferred compensation and other employment benefits. Finally, many couples will also have tangible assets, such as the value of a jointly owned residence.

Establish your own accounts

After locating all of your assets, you should then consider taking steps to cement your financial stability. One of the ways to ensure your financial wellbeing going forward is to open some accounts in your name only.

During your marriage, you likely had joint savings and checking accounts with your significant other. You may also have had joint credit cards. As the divorce is taking place, it is wise to establish your own savings account and open a credit card that is solely in your name. By doing so, you can ensure that you always have access to your finances when you need money.

Reassess your financial plans and beneficiary information

Following a divorce, you may want to consider putting aside more money, if possible, for retirement. By saving more in the years following your divorce, you can ensure you are still comfortable retiring when you originally were planning to do so.

In addition, you will likely want to revise your will and other beneficiary data. By changing the terms of your will, you can ensure your former spouse does not inherit your assets. It is also common for people to designate their spouse as the beneficiary for life insurance policies and retirement accounts - information you will presumably wish to change following the dissolution.

Seek the advice of a family law attorney

Of course, while general tips can be followed by most people going through a divorce, each situation is unique. The assets acquired and wishes of the parties will be somewhat different in every case.

Consequently, when someone is considering getting a divorce, a wise first step would be to consult with an experienced attorney. A knowledgeable family law attorney will be able to ensure your interests are safeguarded.