Divorces can be amicable or they can be contentious, but no matter which side of the scale yours fall on, it is a good idea to take precautions when it comes to protecting your finances. Separating your financial obligations from your spouse’s prior to filing for divorce can make the process less stressful and easier to complete in a timely manner. The following tips are useful pointers for how to start separating your finances in preparation for divorce.
Put utilities in your name
If you and your soon-to-be-ex are both named on the utility bills, it is time to change that. Call your provider and request that yours be the only name on the account. Alternately, if you plan on moving out and letting your spouse handle the existing home’s expenses, ask that your name be taken off the account. Be ready to provide the account number and some personal details for verification when you call.
Open your own bank and credit card accounts
Bank accounts are one of the most important details to attend to prior to a divorce. If you share any checking, savings or credit card accounts with your spouse, it is essential to separate those and establish your own before you file for divorce. In most cases, you cannot remove your spouse’s name without his or her knowledge and consent, but you can remove your own and then open your own accounts to use independently.
Remove either name from the mortgage or lease
As you are planning the divorce, one of the decisions you will have to make is whether you plan to move out or ask your former partner to move out. The latter can, of course, be a more contentious route. Regardless of which you choose, however, you will need to change the mortgage or lease that is in place for your home. If you plan to leave, you can simply have your name removed, while if your spouse will be leaving, you can request that his or her name be taken off.
Get your own insurance plan
One detail you do not want to overlook is obtaining your own insurance policy. If you currently share car, home or health insurance, now is the time to change that and remove your name from the policies. After doing so, you should obtain your own policies in your name only.
Dealing with finances is difficult enough without a divorce. Obtaining a lawyer can help you navigate the process and ensure that you are fairly represented.