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Ensuring financial security through the divorce process

Most people know that the decision to divorce can be emotionally draining and complicated, even in divorces that are amicable. However, many people are not aware of the potential for serious financial ramifications of the decision. While a divorce can be positive for people in Mississippi, allowing a couple to end an unhappy relationship and begin the next chapter of their lives, there are some actions that could be taken to avoid financial surprises.

For many couples, financial responsibilities are primarily handled by one person. It is important that a person going through a divorce is knowledgeable about all of their accounts, including both debt and assets. This knowledge can help ensure that marital assets are equitably and fairly divided. If a spouse is unwilling to divulge this financial information, it can be learned by reviewing personal records and tax filings.

Once a person is fully aware of their accounts, the next important step could be to close joint accounts and credit cards. With a joint account, one person could be forced to pay for a debt incurred by the other, even after the couple has separated. It may be beneficial for each person to open individual accounts in order to establish their own credit.

Because a former spouse likely has access to confidential information such as Social Security Numbers, it may be beneficial to employ a credit monitoring service. Finally, divorced or divorcing couples in Mississippi may want to change their beneficiary on life insurance policies. While all of these actions needed to ending a marriage may seem overwhelming, knowledge of the applicable procedures and state laws may help to speed up and lower the cost of the divorce process.

Source: ABC News, "How to Protect Your Finances in a Divorce", AJ Smith, March 31, 2014

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