As you may be learning from experience, the divorce process can be incredibly stressful. Not only can a divorce be emotionally distressing, but it can also have a negative impact on your finances. If you're not careful, you can make mistakes that will impact your financial situation for the rest of your life. Here are a few tips that should help you protect your financial assets during a divorce.
Know what you have
The first step you should take to protect your financial assets during a divorce is figure out what you have. Designate two folders for financial documents and store information about the debts and assets you've accumulated before and during the marriage in these folders. One copy of each document should go in each folder.
Be sure to include information about mortgages, real estate, business interests, portfolio plans, and even artwork. Try to include information about the estimated worth or balance of the asset as well as the location. Keep one folder in your home for easy access and the second folder out of your home in a safe location, such as a safe.
Watch your credit report
One of your main priorities should be to emerge from the divorce process as unscathed financially as possible. Therefore, throughout the divorce process, you should monitor your credit. Look out for new credit cards in your name or debts for which you are not responsible. Be sure to speak to your attorney if you find anything strange. Once you've spoken to your attorney, you may decide to ask your spouse for a complete disclosure of all relevant records.
Be sure to check your credit report regularly until the divorce has been completed so that you don't have to deal with any unpleasant surprises later on.
Open individual accounts
Once the divorce process has been initiated, you should start opening individual financial accounts in your name. Open a new checking and savings account. You may want to consider getting a credit card in your name to start building good credit. That way, your bad or non-existent credit won't hinder you in the future. To be safe and to ensure confidentiality, you should open an account with a bank that is different from the one you and your spouse are using.
A divorce can have significant consequences for an individual's financial situation. If you want to protect your financial assets, be sure to follow the tips discussed above.