Stress, anxiety and fear undermine many marriages. This is even more true today, with troubled couples navigating their way through the coronavirus pandemic. If your marriage was rocky before, the virus may push you and your spouse closer to divorce. If that is the case, you have many questions. None is bigger than the fiscal implications of your breakup.
Preparation is key, regardless of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic or any other crisis. The last thing you want to do is overlook any detail and be surprised during a divorce.
- Keep a record of all conversations related to your divorce, including copies of emails and other correspondence, as well as notes taken immediately after discussions with your spouse.
- Organize your financial records in a binder for easy access.
- Change your passwords for email, social media and financial accounts.
- Contact credit card companies to have your name taken off joint accounts.
- Obtain copies of your tax returns.
- Prepare a budget by identifying monthly income and expenses.
- Collect statements on both assets and liabilities, including bank, mortgage, credit card, retirement and investment information.
- Continue paying your bills.
- Notify credit bureaus. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports.
What To Do After Your Divorce
You have taken the leap – legally separating from your partner. Take a deep breath, because your work is not done yet. Protect your interests by:
- Implementing and strictly following your new household budget
- Beginning to build an emergency reserve to cover at least six months of expenses
- Closing joint accounts and opening new individual accounts
- Removing your ex-spouse as the beneficiary on insurance policies, annuities, retirement accounts, etc.
- Updating your insurance coverage
- Contacting the Social Security Administration if you changed your name
- Meeting with your accountant and financial adviser to review tax implications, investments, your retirement plan, etc.
- Updating your trust, will, power of attorney and health care directives
Protecting Your Interests During A Divorce
No matter how well you plan your divorce, you are going to experience doubts and questions. They will range from health insurance and alimony to covering your children’s future college expenses and issues that you have not thought of yet. That is why a team of professional advisers is so important to your future.
Do not rely solely on well-meaning friends, whose advice is likely based on emotions. Making decisions based on how you feel rather than the facts can undermine your best interests. You do not have to engage in a bitter fight over every last detail, but you also do not want to make unnecessary compromises that hurt you in the long run.
The divorce attorneys at Hocker & Associates LLC have been helping clients in Indianapolis and throughout Indiana since 1993. The firm is a woman-owned small business that will serve as your legal advocate. They will listen to the particulars of your divorce, then design and explain an approach that promotes your financial and personal interests.
You will be able to make a decision that serves you now and for decades to come. Contact our law firm today for a free case consultation.