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Financial considerations before your divorce

Over the course of a marriage, individual finances often become intertwined. Even with both spouses maintaining separate careers and income streams, it is nearly impossible to remain completely independent. During the divorce process, the couple will have to carefully examine assets and debts to determine an equitable split that takes any custody or support determinations into consideration. Here are four suggestions that can help ensure the process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

  1. Open separate bank accounts: Whether it is checking, savings or both, it is likely that spouses share some sort of bank account. When divorce becomes a reality, it is wise for both individuals to open their own accounts. Additionally, income can be equitably split into both accounts until the divorce order makes any official determination regarding support or debt responsibility.
  2. Establish separate credit cards: Like the joint bank accounts, a couple will likely have at least one shared credit card, department store card or even gas station credit. All these shared cards should be closed with the balances transferred equally between the two parties.
  3. Examine your beneficiaries: While retirement funds will likely be divided during the divorce process, you should look at life insurance policies. Additionally, make notes about accounts such as car insurance or medical insurance that you’ll need to address post-divorce.
  4. Change the title to your home: Many divorcing couples choose to change the title to include “tenants in common.” Ownership of the home, then, can be specifically identified.

Property division can quickly become a complicated aspect of any divorce. Individuals dissolving a years- or decades-long divorce can find the process overwhelming. It is wise to make as many preparations as possible to alleviate as many complications as you can.