How can you prepare for your divorce?
Most people heading into the divorce process have quite a few questions and concerns. Even amicable divorces are complex, which means that all involved parties must have a solid plan in place as soon as possible.
Kiplinger describes a few of the steps divorcing couples must take to ensure they are fully prepared for what is to come. By doing the following, you can greatly decrease your stress and worry.
Gather necessary documents
Start by taking a thorough accounting of all assets and debt in your name. You should also take note of recent purchases made by you or your spouse, list your separate assets and determine whether some assets are in question, such as a home owned by your spouse but paid off using your funds. The more information you have about your financial status at the outset, the easier it is to make decisions regarding asset division.
Make changes as needed
Make sure to inform your bank that you will be closing certain accounts. You must also notify other institutions regarding name changes, such as the Social Security Administration and the IRS. After making a decision regarding housing, make sure you notify the appropriate parties when it comes to change of address forms.
Have a plan for joint accounts
Discuss what happens to shared accounts with your spouse as soon as possible. Some couples simply split the proceeds down the middle, while others divide them equitably but not necessarily equally. If your name currently appears on your spouse’s bills, remove it as soon as possible. Transparency is key during this process to avoid accusations of fraudulent withdrawals or hidden assets.
While the divorce process is often challenging, many people emerge from it with a new lease on life. With the proper planning, you can mitigate financial issues and face a bright, hopeful future.