Congratulations! Your divorce is finally settled and you can leave behind the stress and anxiety that came with it. Before you can fully move on, you must make getting your finances in order a priority. The team at Brian D. Perskin and Associates has researched the best tips to get you on the road to financial freedom after your divorce.
- If you changed your name during your marriage and are now changing it back, you're going to need a new Social Security Card, driver's license, passport and credit cards. Make sure you obtain these items as soon as possible.
- Retrieve an official copy of your Divorce Decree and make multiple copies to keep handy, as they are sometimes requested by financial institutions or health insurance companies.
- Close all joint accounts you had with your ex-spouse. Now that you two are legally divorced, it is time you stopped sharing banking information.
- Open new bank and credit card accounts in your name. It is especially important to build your credit as a single individual, as a good credit score is a building block to being financially independent.
- Update important records and accounts by removing your ex-spouse's name. Some of these can include IRS and Employer records, financial accounts, insurance policies (health, home, auto and disability policies), professional licenses (if applicable), utility bills and car titles and registrations.
- If you were on your spouse's health insurance policy while married, you will now need to fine your own insurance. It is best to check with your employer to inquire about what coverage they offer. An article posted on Forbes suggests looking into COBRA, but this is only a short term solution and it is best to find a permanent insurance policy.
- Re-write your will to disinherit your ex-spouse. Additionally, remove them from any trusts, medical directives and, if needed, remove any power of attorney or healthcare proxy authorization from your ex-spouse. This needs to be done to prevent them from determining your course of care if you fall ill or become serious injured, as well as benefiting from your death.
- Develop a system to record and monitor the financial aspects of your settlement including alimony/spousal support, child support, etc. There are many different applications for smart phones that allow you to do this easily.
- Sit down and evaluate your finances and goals for the future. Create a budget and stick to it, so you have a better chance of becoming financially independent in your new, marriage free life. If you can afford it, hire a financial planner, as sometimes a professional is needed to keep many different aspects (and assets!) safe.