We often discuss the emotional toll that a divorce can take on people. Whether a couple ends a marriage bitterly or amicably, dealing with the emotional effects of a divorce can be difficult for everyone. However, it is important not to lose sight of the facts and finances of a divorce. Even though it can be challenging, taking control of finances after a California divorce can help a person regain his or her individuality and move forward.
In order to take the reins and start working towards what is best for you financially after a divorce, it is best to be prepared. By taking a few things into consideration, the financial issues that come with a divorce can be tackled and quickly dealt with.
The first thing a spouse will want to do is create a list of all the shared and owed finances. Keeping a list of this information will make it easier to tackle several transactions at once and stay balanced. This can include titles, property ownership, personal belongings and other bank transactions.
While at the bank, it could be a good idea to have any shared or joint accounts closed, whether they are banking or credit card accounts. Without closing these down, the other spouse can deposit and withdraw checks that were intended to go to both of you, such as a tax refund check. Notify credit card companies that you will no longer be using the account and will not be responsible for any future charges so that there is no confusion.
When your accounts are squared away and your assets are in order, it may be the perfect time to update any will that may be in place. Without an updated will, an ex-spouse may be left in charge of financial or health decisions, which is likely undesirable.
Finally, a spouse may want to embrace his or her new independence by officially making a name change. For those who changed their names when they got married, reinstating their pre-marriage names can be very helpful. Remember that a driver's license, Social Security cards, bank accounts, retirement accounts and other official documents will likely need to be updated.
A divorce may not be easy, but by dealing with certain financial tasks, a person can regain a sense of autonomy and take some positive steps forward.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Five Post Divorce Financial Tips," Nancy Van Tine, Sept. 21, 2012