Steps to Take to Protect Your Finances During a Divorce
Going through a divorce is an emotional process that leaves many people vulnerable to making mistakes and feeling defeated. When separating, it can be easy to forget about how your finances will be affected throughout the process. You’ll want to take a few important steps to protect your money and reduce the risk of loss while parting ways with your partner.
Close Joint Accounts
Any accounts that are shared between you and your former spouse need to be closed immediately. This will prevent you from becoming responsible for any debt that your partner accumulates after you decide to separate. Pay down all of your credit cards as much as possible and put the account in your name or your spouse’s name to avoid sharing responsibility. Attempt to negotiate splitting the debt with your spouse if there’s a remaining balance. If the balance is too high to repay in full, you’ll need to contact the lender and ask what is required to have your name completely removed from the account.
Avoid using the credit cards or account to acquire new debt, which the courts will require that you repay. The court will also require that any money you withdraw during this time will need to be repaid. Consider getting a post office box to ensure you receive all of your mail that contains your new banking information. This will prevent the information from being obtained by your spouse.
Requesting a copy of both your and your spouse’s credit report is also necessary. This will make you aware of any joint accounts and accounts that your spouse has open in his or her name. Your soon-to-be ex may have made foolish decisions with your money, which can affect your financial future. There also may be issues or errors present on the credit reports, which will need to be disputed.
Take Inventory of Your Assets
One of the most challenging parts of going through a divorce is having to divide up the assets and split it between both parties. In some cases where there’s a lot of tension, one of the spouses may attempt to hide some of the valuables or take them out of the home. Make it a point to take photos of everything that is shared between you and your spouse to have a thorough record of what needs to be split. Avoid selling any of the assets if you’re in need of cash as this can complicate the process of filing for divorce.
Making copies of bank transactions of large purchases that you’ve both made in the marriage can also allow you to have proof of what needs to be divided.
Many people request alimony, which is taxable income. Attempt to work with your former spouse and legal counsel to agree on an amount of money that can be provided but won’t be listed as taxable alimony. Alimony laws are also constantly changing, so you will want a legal professional to help. You may also want to consider getting job training before going through a divorce to ensure you can become financially independent and are capable of supporting yourself.
Hire a Family Lawyer
One of the most important steps you can take after you’ve decided to file for divorce is to contact a Jenkintown family lawyer who can review the details of your case. Look for someone who offers free consultations and can determine what you’re entitled to receive, whether it’s custody or assets. Hiring a Jenkintown family lawyer can allow you to be represented by someone with a high level of legal knowledge in the industry. Legal counsel will know the right steps to take to increase your chances of obtaining more money.
If you are preparing to file for divorce, contact the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner & Associates today by calling 215-886-1266. You can obtain legal representation and learn more about your rights. Our Jenkintown family lawyer will help you understand the correct plan of action to take.