Divorce in the New Year: Some important considerations

With 2012 now upon us, many people are looking to make some changes in their lives. This may be something as simple as shedding a few unwanted pounds or finally extinguishing a smoking habit. However, it may also mean implementing some major lifestyle changes, including getting out of an unhappy marriage by seeking a divorce.

While this decision may ultimately be the best for a dissatisfied spouse, it’s still very important for them to proceed cautiously and avoid taking any actions that could potentially jeopardize their post-divorce life.

Today’s post will take a brief look at four simple suggestions offered by financial experts for those spouses who recently initiated the divorce process.

Manage bank accounts wisely

Financial experts recommend that those spouses who recently initiated the divorce process take steps to open their own bank accounts accessible only by them. This means that paychecks and other vital funds will remain secure.

In addition, experts also advise people in these situations to keep a close eye on any jointly held checking or savings accounts to ensure that a spouse isn’t depleting funds. In fact, many advise consulting with a legal expert to see what can be done to prevent this from occurring.

Manage debt wisely

Remember, both you and your former spouse will remain responsible for any jointly held debt. Accordingly, creditors are free to come after either of you.

If you and your former spouse are on good terms and have decided to continue holding joint accounts until your divorce is final, financial experts recommend verifying that all debts are accounted for and paid regularly post-divorce.

These experts also caution that if you and your spouse are not on good terms, that you consider calling the credit card company to ask about removing yourself from any jointly held accounts. This will likely not absolve you of your responsibility for jointly held debts acquired prior to the divorce, but it may help get you off the hook in case your former spouse decides to go on a post-divorce spending spree.

Consider tax issues

Once the divorce is finalized, you may either be paying or receiving spousal maintenance and/or child support. Accordingly, it’s important to understand that this presents certain tax ramifications (i.e., claiming new income or deductions) that must be accounted for in your tax filings. Here, experts recommend that the newly divorced consider consulting with a legal or tax professional in the aftermath of a divorce.

Consider insurance

You may find yourself without insurance coverage in the wake of a divorce filing. If possible, experts advise negotiating an end date of coverage with your former spouse, and taking steps to line up health, auto, and homeowners/renters insurance.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about divorce or property division here in Texas, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal or financial advice.


Money Talks News, “4 steps to take as soon as you say ‘I don’t’” Jan. 4, 2012