5 Crucial Divorce Financial Tips
5 Crucial Divorce Financial Tips
If you are seriously considering divorce, finances are important. These financial divorce tips will help you determine your net worth as a married couple and help you get an idea of where you'll stand financially after divorce.
1. Copy Your Records. Gather all of the documents pertaining to your assets and liabilities.
These records include, but are not limited to, personal and business income tax returns (last three years), business records, account statements from investment firms, banks, and pension offices, pay stubs, life insurance information, annuities, credit card statements, stock certificates, and receipts for purchase of larger items.
Copy anything to which you might need to refer. Label each asset and liability as being either joint or individual. Be sure to include retirement accounts and check for any loans taken out against them. Obtaining copies of records via the discovery process while in the midst of a divorce is much more difficult and can be expensive. So, do this now.
2. Obtain Copies of Credit Applications. Obtain copies of any credit or mortgage applications from your bank or creditors, particularly those that have been completed 12 months prior to your separation. If the application was joint, then it will list assets, liabilities, and income for both spouses. This may be a very good source of asset discovery when one spouse believes that the other is withholding information on marital property.
Further, check your credit report itself. This will list any new account openings in the last 12 months that you might not be aware of as well. If you use an accountant to prepare your returns, make an appointment to review your latest returns.
3. Identity Check. Verifying accurate personal, financial, and business information is critical to maintaining your identity. Ensure that your name, address, and other personal information are correct.
Google yourself! Find out what information, if any, about you is on the Web. You can contact the Webmaster for sites where you find inaccurate information. Contact your local post office and utilities as soon as you or your ex-spouse plan to move to provide a forwarding address and to ensure that you continue to receive your mail.
4. Cancel "Joint" Lines of Credit. If your divorce settlement makes your ex-spouse responsible for the payment of a debt that was jointly incurred, continue to monitor the account to ensure that payments are made in a timely manner. If your ex-spouse is late or defaults on a payment, it can adversely affect your credit.
5. Understand Your Social Security Benefits If you have been married 10 years or more, you will be entitled to half of your spouse’s benefit or 100% of your accrued benefit, whichever is greater. This does not impact your spouse’s benefit in any way, so it is not a negotiation point in a divorce.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, published next week, where we will give you 5 more tips.
If you’d like to discuss your individual situation, or have some questions, please reach out to me at for a complimentary phone consultation.
Tags: Divorce Tips, Joint Accounts, Identity Check, Social Security, Applications
Filed Under: Divorce Tips
This information is not intended to be a substitute for seeking legal advice from an attorney. For legal or tax advice please seek the services of a qualified attorney and/or qualified tax professional.