Begin to separate your finances. Once you begin a divorce, the courts will issue an order that puts a freeze on removing assets. So, you can have a significant amount of entanglement depending upon your financial setup in the marriage. And if one spouse decides not to pay regularly, some debts could increase or go to default. All of these moves not only could cost you money, it can damage your credit rating. So, to protect yourself as much as possible, have independent accounts – banking and credit cards – so that you can manage financially without your spouse affecting your spending.
On a related note, watch your credit rating closely. You can join one of multiple sites online that give you free unlimited access to your credit scores. If you see one suddenly drop, you will know that a debt went unpaid and you can track it and address it quickly before it spirals out of control.
Finally, the most important step: be sure you retain an experienced divorce attorney. No one should go through a divorce without representation, even if just to consult and have solid legal information. And not all lawyers stay up to date on the nuances of life in family court, so retaining one who specializes in this area maximizes your chances of getting the best and most complete advice. And be sure you feel comfortable with the attorney you choose – you want to trust this person because you have so much at stake.
In USA Today, you can find this article that discusses the points we addressed in the last two posts. It is worth the read.
If you have additional questions about protecting finances during divorce, contact us – we can help.