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Protecting your finances during divorce in 1, 2, 3

Divorce can be a very nerve-wracking and emotionally-draining time. Part of the reason for this could be because you sense that your financial well-being is at risk. To help ease your mind, here are three tips that can help you protect your finances while going through divorce.

1. Close all joint accounts. Even if you expect that your divorce will be amicable, it’s wise to close joint bank, credit card and other financial accounts as soon as you separate so that you are not held liable for your ex’s spending. Additionally, you don’t want to give your ex the opportunity to clean out joint accounts.

It’s also wise to start opening your accounts so that you can start building your credit as an individual. In order to qualify for a mortgage or an auto loan after your divorce is finalized, you will need strong credit on your own. This also means keeping an eye on your credit report to know where you stand (and notice if anything your ex is doing is affecting your credit).

2. If you don’t know much about finances, get educated. In many marriages, one spouse handles the finances while the other spouse is left in the dark. If you don’t know much about your financial situation, now is the time to educate yourself by taking a class or meeting with a professional.

Taking control of your finances will help you feel more confident and prepared as you move forward with your divorce and your life.

3. Work with a divorce lawyer who keeps you on track. One of the biggest mistakes people make during divorce is letting their hurt emotions drive their behavior.

An example of this is pouring money into litigating over issues that don’t really matter in order to seek revenge. An experienced family law attorney can help you differentiate between the things you value and the things that are just a waste of your time, energy and resources.

Source: Credit.com, “How to Protect Your Finances in a Divorce,” AJ Smith, March 31, 2014

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