Divorce is a complicated process. It can involve child custody, alimony, asset division and child support. However, there are steps a person can take to not only make it less complicated, but also to help make sure they are protected when it comes time to divide assets. Today we'll touch on how to protect your finances during your divorce.
Most of what this deals with are things you and your spouse owned jointly. Think about it. Couples often have a lot of joint accounts -- joint checking accounts, joint insurance policies and joint tax returns. In order to protect your assets and your livelihood, it's best start thinking about these as soon as the decision to divorce is made.
The first step is to create your own bank account. A recent article suggested that the best way to do this is to withdraw half of the money from each joint account and put it into your own account. Not only does this get you set up with your own account, but it protects you in case your ex becomes spiteful and goes on a spending spree.
Next is to be aware that your tax status will change to single in the same year your divorce is complete. With a new lifestyle comes a new tax return. Your deductions could change depending on whether you will receive alimony, and it's likely your income will change as well. Make sure to take note of these as you go to file your next tax return.
Finally, get your own insurance. Health insurance can be particularly important if you are receiving benefits under your spouse's plan. By getting your own insurance plan, you can ensure that you won't one day find out you're no longer covered when you need it most.
Sorting out finances is just one of the many aspects of divorce. Massachusetts residents who have decided to divorce may find it helpful to speak with an experienced family law attorney to make sure all their bases are covered.
Source: Money Talks News, "4 Steps to Take as Soon as You Say 'I Don't'," Angela Colley, Jan. 3, 2012