Once you realize that divorce is inevitable, itâ€™s time to review your finances. For years, you merged your financial identity with that of your spouse: you had joint bank accounts, credit cards, and lines of credit. Now, you have to establish your own independent financial profile. Here are some tips on how to accomplish that.
Hire an attorney
This part will actually cost you money, but itâ€™s important to hire a New York divorce attorney as soon as divorce transforms from a possibility into a definite thing. Your attorney can end up saving you money by protecting your financial interests. For example, the liability for a credit line that you and your spouse took out together is 50/50. If they go on a spending spree to spite you, then you could be held responsible for half the cost. Your attorney can send your spouse a certified letter about the matter, which could result in a damage award in your favor when it comes time to settle.
Get a current financial picture
Ask your spouse for a full disclosure of all joint financial accounts and records. You need to understand the entire picture when it comes to assets and liabilities such as credit card and student loan debt. This information will give you a better idea of how strong your financial position is and what you may need to do to improve it.
Set up your own accounts
Start establishing financial accounts in your name only: checking and savings accounts, credit cards, lines of credit and even car insurance. If your paychecks were going into a joint account, then give your employer your updated banking information immediately.
Put together a budget
After taking factors such as alimony and child support into account, create a budget that accurately reflects your monthly income and expenses. Try to cut down on discretionary spending as much as possible: things like vacations, restaurant meals and expensive new TVs can wait until the divorce is settled.
If you have personal debt, such as credit cards in your name only, then put together a plan to reduce it. Aim to get rid of high-interest debt first, and make your payments on time each month to avoid expensive late fees.
Change your will
If you have a will that names your soon-to-be ex as the primary beneficiary, then change it. You may want to do the actual revisions after the divorce settlement, when you have a better idea of what your assets are, but a new beneficiary list can be put together at any time.
Your New York divorce attorney can assist you with these and similar financial matters as you prepare for personal and financial autonomy. Divorce is rarely if ever an easy process, but expert advice will make it easier to establish your own life after the decree is issued. Let the law office of Jayson Lutzky, P.C. represent you in your divorce matter. Mr. Lutzky is an attorney with over 31 years of experience and offers free in-person consultations at his Bronx, NY office. Call 718-329-9500 to set up an appointment or click here for further contact information.