When you are getting divorced, there are a myriad of things to think about. Finances, of course, are one of them. When you are preparing for divorce, making sure that all your financial affairs are in order will not only to help the process itself go more smoothly, but can also help foster the beginning of your newly-single life. Securing your financial future while you are still married can help to build your confidence as you negotiate other (sometimes more emotionally-draining) aspects of divorce, such as the family home or childcare. You can also rest assured if your finances are under control that, even if you were not the primary breadwinner in the family, you will still be financially stable after dissolution.
There are several things that you can do to help ease the financial transition of divorce. The first is to make a budget. This may seem elementary, but no matter what, the first step toward financial independence is to make sure that your expenses are balanced with your income. Knowing where your money is going is essential—it may be easier to think of it as a spending plan instead of a budget. Having an emergency fund will likely be a good idea as you just get on your feet toward financial independence as well. Ideally, this emergency fund should be enough to cover three to six months of your expenses.
Another important step is to review (and most likely change) the beneficiary on your life insurance or retirement accounts. If you shared these with your ex-spouse, forgetting to change the name on the actual account can result in serious complications later. Be sure, however, that your divorce agreement will allow you to make such changes, as life insurance and retirement accounts may be used to balance the division of marital assets.
The same applies for a will or a living trust. In a similar vein, it is crucial to review your divorce decree and similar documents to ensure that the appropriate assets have been transferred to your name—and that the name is correct if you change it after divorce.
If you are considering divorce or going through one and have financial questions, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Batavia, IL family law attorney today.