When a couple heads for divorce, one of the first concerns that each spouse has is financial security. Financial issues become even more critical when one spouse earns significantly more than the other or one spouse has dedicated his or her life to raising the family, forgoing a career.
Oftentimes, financial issues lead to messy divorces, but there are steps you can take to secure your financial future in the face of divorce.
Ensure that You Have Credit in Your Name
In some situations, one spouse won’t have any credit to his or her name. If you fit into this category, you may want to consider establishing some credit in your name before the divorce is through.
This type of scenario is particularly common when one spouse isn’t working. In this case, the non-working spouse may simply have credit in their spouse’s name. If this situation applies to you, you’ll need to use your joint household income in order to be approved when applying for individual credit cards.
Get Copies of All Financial Statements
In most marriages, one spouse typically takes control of all the financial statements, ensuring that tax returns are prepared properly, paying the bills and filing statements. Once the divorce proceedings have begun, it can be difficult to obtain copies of these crucial documents without the cooperation of your soon-to-be ex. For this reason, it’s best to obtain your own copies of any and all financial statements before the proceedings begin.
Obtain 3 Years of Tax Returns and Bank Statements
Copies of tax returns and bank statements should also be included in the financial documents you obtain. Aim for 3 years of bank statements and returns. This will paint a better picture of your financial situation going into the divorce.
Obtain Copies of Pertinent Medical Records
If medical issues need to be addressed, you will need to obtain copies of pertinent medical records, physician reports and dates. Medical issues and treatments will affect your or your spouse’s financial situation, and may play a major role in securing your financial future.
Change Home Title and Will Beneficiary
Before divorce proceedings begin, be sure to change the title of your home from “JTWROS (Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship)” to “joint tenants in common.” While you’re at it, change the beneficiary on your will as well. Making these changes will ensure that your ex does not gain ownership of the home upon your death and will not be included in your will.
Hire a Good Divorce Lawyer
One of the best ways to secure your financial future after a divorce is to hire a good divorce lawyer. Divorce lawyers know and understand local family law, and will help ensure that you get your fair share out of the divorce.
Even with an amicable divorce, it can be helpful to hire a good lawyer to ensure that your agreement is fair.
Securing your financial future can be a difficult task, but worth the effort. With the help of lawyer and the tips above, you can help ensure that you walk away from the divorce without facing financial ruin.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm specializing in family law and estates. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.