You may not have pictured your marriage ending in divorce, but this is a common occurrence for many couples. According to CNBC, approximately 800,000 divorces occur every year.
A divorce may present changes to your finances, especially if your spouse was the primary income earner. Here are some tips for protecting your best financial interests before and during the divorce process.
1. Open a new bank account
If you only possess a checking and savings account with your spouse, open both types of accounts in your name alone. Let your spouse know that you did this and how much money you plan on depositing in these accounts.
2. Close joint credit accounts
If you and your spouse hold any credit accounts together, pay them down and close them as soon as possible. The fewer debts you have during divorce negotiations, the less stress will occur about dividing these financial obligations.
3. Avoid new debts
Try and save as much money as possible before you finalize your divorce. Attempt to cut back on expenses instead of using new credit cards or personal loans to fund your needs. This may involve creating a budget and sticking to it based on your future income.
4. Review your credit reports
Request a credit report for yourself and your spouse. Look for any credit accounts in the name of your spouse that you are unaware of. You should also review both reports for discrepancies and dispute them with your provider to enhance your financial standing.