Divorcing your husband can afford you the opportunity to start fresh and become more independent. However, becoming financially self-reliant is easier said than done.
Your spouse may have been managing the finances throughout your marriage, and now you feel lost in the accounting. Yet even if you were in complete control of your marital finances, you will still need to take steps post-marriage to ensure you cover all of the necessary bases.
Here are some ways that women can regain financial independence after the divorce is finalized.
Review beneficiary designations
Chances are your beneficiary designations need to be updated after a divorce. Is your husband a beneficiary on your life insurance, retirement plan or any estate planning documents?
A surprising number of beneficiary designations can be updated online these days so updating them shouldn't be too time-consuming. However, if you plan on revising any estate planning documents, it may be a good idea to consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning to ensure the changes are legally binding.
Build your credit
When was the last time you looked at your credit report? If you haven't done so in the last year, ordering a credit report after your marriage can help give you a better idea of where you stand financially.
Building your credit independently post-divorce is essential and being financially responsible (like making credit card and student loan payments on time) can help in accomplishing that goal.
Before updating any titles refer back to your divorce decree. Find out what personal property is yours and then you can consider putting the property in your own name. Personal property that you may own can include cars, trailers, boats or other forms of transportation.
You might also want to consult with a professional who specializes in real estate transactions. If there is a family home, you will need to review your divorce documents to see what steps you will need to take. These steps may include refinancing real estate into your own name or selling the home.
Devise a divorce team
Get a team of professionals behind you who can guide you through the process of rebuilding your finances. Such professionals can include experienced divorce attorneys, financial advisors or even vocational therapists to assist you with the job hunt.
Having a team on your side can help you feel less overwhelmed and alone in the transitional period.
Money can be the number one stressor when going through a divorce, but keep in mind that you don't have to do all of these things at once. You can move at your own pace to regain control of your finances and work with a support team to help in becoming more financially independent.