For most people going through a divorce, the process can seem stressful and overwhelming. You not only have to deal with the emotions that result from a changing family dynamic, but you also have to think about your shared finances and assets. The logistical side of a divorce is very important but can become overwhelming if you are not equipped with the right knowledge.
Bank account(s)– Open a bank account in your name if you do not have one already. Consider choosing a bank that does not hold any accounts in your spouse’s name. Then, work with your attorney to determine whether it is appropriate to close and/or transfer money from joint accounts. It is always prudent to keep a paper trail relative to money coming from joint accounts.
Define shared assets and debts– It is important to define all debts and assets as well as understand what was accrued both before and during the marriage. An understanding of these facts can help you determine what is marital property and what is separate property. Marital property is subject to division between you and your spouse. If it is considered marital, there is a presumption of 50/50 ownership in all assets and 50/50 liability for all debts. Separate property is your own property, and your spouse is not entitled to any share.
Review your beneficiaries– Go through any estate planning documents, including wills, trusts, life insurance policies, pension and retirement accounts to make sure you update beneficiary information. It’s important to note that these tips are not an exhaustive list. There are many other financial considerations to think about when going through a divorce. You may also consider bringing in a financial planner to work with your attorney.
Regardless, it is important to have a plan in place for your life after divorce.
If you or someone you know is in need of legal counseling, contact one of Hatcher Law Group’s experienced family law attorneys today.