Financial Protections You Should Take During A Divorce
Whether you are in the midst of a divorce or the process is imminent, it is time to start protecting and separating yourself financially in small ways. While pairing up with a divorce attorney can help with this process, there are smaller financial aspects you can begin to think about. Here are four ways to protect yourself financially before and during the divorce process.
1. Run a Credit Check
There might be surprises in your financial picture that you aren't even aware of. If you are heading down the road to divorce, run a credit check to make sure all credit card balances are about what you expected. You can also be sure there aren't any new loans or lines of credit in your name that you were unaware of. If you do discover any surprises that your spouse may not have told you about, bring these to your divorce attorney so that they can advise you on possible implications.
2. Retain Financial Records
If your spouse has always in charge of the finances, it is a good idea to make sure you have copies of all investment documents and tax info for at least the last three years. Anything that you can do to obtain copies of financial documents will help move your case forward and will be less work for your divorce attorney to have to eventually request these in discovery.
3. Close Joint Credit Cards With Zero Balances
While you won't be able to opt out of credit cards holding a balance, anything that you can do to pay off small balances and then separate yourself from these cards will help protect your credit. This is a good idea in case you and your spouse are in the middle of a divorce, and they begin to run up joint credit cards.
4. Freezing Joint Accounts
Anything that you can do to stop joint spending on accounts that might hold larger balances can protect you. If you are worried your spouse might access or empty these, don't empty these on your own. Check with your lawyer before making changes to joint accounts. They can ensure that your good intentions won't inadvertently seem as if you are trying to hide money from your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
There can be a fine line between protecting yourself financially and looking like you might be going behind your soon-to-be ex-spouse's back. It is a good idea to meet with both a financial adviser and a divorce attorney like Blumenauer Hackworth to ensure that you are taking the right steps to separate yourself financially. They can advise you in decisions so that you don't do anything that might look suspicious while your divorce is moving forward.