Financial Adjustments After Divorce
The changes in your finances after you and your spouse have stopped living together can be overwhelming. The court order is just the legality, the change in lifestyle is the reality.
Depending on the opportunities you took in planning ahead of time, you can hope things will improve. But, life is not simple, and divorce makes it even more complex.
Take heart, and face it with a business-attitude. Be as informed as possible, and be proactive. Don’t procrastinate about the decisions mentioned here. If you’ve been postponing some financial decisions things because of emotional ties and hang-ups, now is the time to STOP.
Here are five important areas that will need attention as soon as possible:
- Tax filing
- Contact information
Here are five tips to deal with money adjustments after divorce:
Financial Adjustment Tip # 1:
Close and Open: Close all joint accounts. Open separate accounts in your name. Keep records of balances of the old ones, copies of the statements, etc., for the tax return you’ll have to make for the present year when you were still married.
Financial Adjustment Tip #2:
File jointly: Decide on how to file for the current year. Married, filing separately carries the highest tax, so if you and your spouse can agree to one thing, let it be to file jointly the year you were still married, and split the tax debt or the tax return.
Financial Adjustment Tip #3:
Inform: Let schools and daycares know about changed addresses, emergency contacts, and allowed visitations. Doctors, utility companies, motor vehicle department need to know your legal name, address and phone changes.
Financial Adjustment Tip #4:
Copy, copy, copy: Make copies of everything that binds you legally. Rental agreements, insurance policies, medical and life insurance policies, any and all titles, licenses, deeds, etc. in case of fire or theft.
Financial Adjustment Tip #5:
Remove and Change: Redo your will, medical directives, living wills, and remove spouse’s name. Change beneficiaries on insurance policies, retirement plans (minor children must have a custodian to act for them, in the event of your death).
The best advice ever is to separate the emotions of this drama-called-divorce from the common sense planning and decisions related to your financial well-being. Your children will thank you and you’ll have less to regret later on.
Written By: Ruby Holder Moseley, Rust Built, Marketing Services