30 Sep 9 things to do to protect your finances when going through divorce
We see a lot of people who are about to go through divorce or who are in the middle of proceedings. It is a difficult time for them, their partner and children.
The first thing we say is make sure you have a good network around you of family and friends because you are going to need it. Then the next thing we work on is making sure they have their financial situation in order. It is easy to put this off but in doing so you simply create much bigger headaches for yourself further down the line.
Here are the 9 things you should do immediately.
Make sure you have your important documents
Gather up all of your important documents and make copies of them. Some of the main ones you will need are, bank statements, wills, trusts, property deeds, car registrations, insurance policies, tax returns and share documents.
Make sure you understand what is going to happen
If you understand what is about to happen you have a much better chance of remaining calm and able to make better decisions. Talk to your friends and ask them to recommend a good family lawyer. Talk to a number of them and find one you are comfortable with.
Do a Financial Stock Take
This means list all of the things you own and all of the things you owe. Do this for both yourself and anything you have in both names. The Money Smart website has a networth calculator that can help you work this out.
Take Action on Joint Accounts
Most couples have joint bank accounts with both having equal access. It is important you take control of your own money. In some instances we would suggest closing a joint account. However, this can become problematic if you are also paying a mortgage from that account. The most important thing to do is open your own bank account and make sure your salary/income is going into that account. This will give you peace of mind and potentially save a lot of headaches further down the track.
Talk to Your Real Estate Agent
If you are renting make sure you talk to your real estate agent and have them amend the lease. If you are moving away from a rental situation in both names you don’t want to be liable for unpaid rent or damages.
Update Your Will
This step is often overlooked and given that a large percentage of Australians don’t have a will then it may be a good time to actually make a will. A qualified solicitor can provide you with advice.
Consolidate Your Superannuation
Your superannuation is one of your largest assets and after a divorce your financial situation will have changed and taking control of this asset is an important step in helping you move forward. The ATO has a number of online tools superseeker that can help you find your superannuation
An important part of moving forward is to take control of your money. This will help to lessen the stress and anxiety often felt when having to adjust to new levels of income and spending. One of the easiest and most productive steps to take is to create a budget. There are a number of online tools that can help you including moneysmart budget planner and money help budget planner and they are free.
Given that your circumstance has now changed you may want to look at a range of insurances including car, home and contents. We also advise you look closely at protecting your income through insurance especially if you have children.
Divorce is a difficult time for you and those around you. Taking control of your finances as early as possible will help to lessen the anxiety and stress related to divorce. Remember also to reach out to family and friends often they can help with advice and support.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about managing your finances and divorce please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org