As psychologically challenging as a divorce can be for many Texas couples, especially for spouses who did not see the end of the marriage coming, most divorce consultants say pre-divorce is not the time to neglect important money matters. The financial steps taken on the way to a legal divorce can make a tremendous difference in a post-marital life.
Once it is clear that a divorce is imminent, beginning to separate yourself from your spouse financially is a smart decision.
Documents that concern identity and money should be copied and kept separately. Experts say everything from bank accounts to Social Security cards and bills to wills are better kept securely outside the marital home. One divorce strategist suggests giving the copies to a friend or renting a safe deposit box.
Establishing a fresh financial start by opening a solo bank account can be a good way to get some good footing before you completely sever ties with your spouse. It is best done at an institution where you and your spouse do not already have an account. Having an individual account secures what is put in it and helps to create a personal credit history. A divorce attorney can help provide guidelines for how much money you can remove from shared accounts.
Finally, divorcing spouses frequently forget to change beneficiaries on insurance policies, wills, trusts and pensions. A complete transition of asset wishes cannot be accomplished until a divorce is finalized, but many documents can be altered with the help of a legal expert in advance of a divorce decree.
Source: Forbes, “Six Must-Do Financial Steps for Women Facing Divorce,” Jeff Landers, 19 July 2011