A top priority after divorce is a stable financial plan. The separation should urge couples to do some “financial housekeeping” to protect all personal finances. There are crucial measurements that need to be met in order to disassociate from a previous marriage.
Identification (e.g., social security card, driver’s license, passports) and personal accounts (e.g., banks, utilities, insurance companies, credit card companies, motor vehicle department) are one of the most important things to address post-divorce. Make sure that it is your name that is on these accounts and that your name is reflective of any name change you decide to do. Titles on houses and vehicles will also have to be changed and recorded with any lending institutions. After a divorce, you will also have to contact the appropriate people to help update your beneficiaries for life insurance, IRA accounts, pensions, and 401k. By regaining your personal accounts, you are able to build your credit without the influence of your spouse. Also, close any joint credit accounts you and your ex-spouse shared. A divorce only establishes that a relationship is over; it does not influence the separation of the couple in financial matters.
Once all the loose ends of the past are tied up, develop a financial plan for the future. If, during your divorce, a Lifestyle Analysis was prepared for you, you should be able to understand what funds came in and out during your marriage. This should serve as a guideline for your future budget. It will allow you to allocate your short-term (e.g., day-to-day expenses, monthly utilities, mortgages, car payments) and long-term (college tuition, retirement, travel) financial needs. Assets are another source of income in which you will have to learn to allocate in your life. Lump sum payments, such as alimony, pension rollovers, sale of investment home, will need to be addressed and distributed evenly in your life.
There are other Orange County professionals whom can help with your financial planning for the future. Estate planning attorneys are available for you when dealing with estate planning and legal needs regarding your will, medical directives, trusts, etc. Therapists and counselors are also important people whom advise you through emotional struggles and challenges post-divorce. There is much more to do post-divorce as there is during a divorce. Overall, you are able to restart your life and make decisions for a better future.