You've decided to file for divorce. It's time to start thinking about your financial future. Now that you've filed the paperwork, there are some things you should do to protect your finances. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself financially.
Change the Lease or Rental Agreement
If you and your spouse were leasing or renting your home, you'll need to change the agreement. If you've moved out, you should contact your landlord and have them remove your name from the lease. This will keep you from being responsible from any charges your spouse may incur after you move out.
Contact Your Creditors
You're going to need to protect your credit rating during the divorce, especially if you and your spouse share joint accounts. As soon as you file for divorce, you should contact your creditors. You can have your joint accounts frozen until after the divorce. This will prevent your spouse from running up additional charges that you'll both be responsible for.
Make Copies of Your Tax Returns
You'll need to establish your own credit once the divorce is final. You'll need your tax forms for that. If you don't already have copies of your previous year's taxes, you should get copies of them. If your spouse won't provide you with the copies, you can contact the IRS.
They'll be able to send you copies of your previous year's taxes. They can also give you complete transcripts of your taxes so you can see an itemization of the credits you received while married.
Document Your Joint Accounts
Whether you were responsible for paying the marital debts, or not, you'll need to document your joint accounts. This will include copies of your bank statements, life insurance policies and investment portfolios. It's also important that you document what's inside any safe deposit boxes that you share with your spouse.
Take Your Personal Property
If you have personal property that will not be included in the settlement negotiations, you should take those when you move out. This is particularly important if you think your spouse may destroy your property. Some things you can take with you include gifts you've received from family and friends, clothing, and items you've purchased for yourself. If you're unsure about a particular item, be sure to speak to your divorce lawyer before you remove it from the house.
Now that you've filed for divorce, you need to do everything you can to come out of the divorce financially stable. This list will help you protect your credit and your assets.