Have you separated from your spouse and are planning a divorce? Now is the time to start getting your finances in order not just to support yourself but also with a view to the divorce proceedings. How can you do this? Here are four key financial steps to take.
1. Open a Checking Account.
Having your own bank account separate from your spouse should be one of the first moves you make once you begin planning a divorce. First, you protect your own income — from wages, retirement withdrawals, and other sources — from your spouse's potential mismanagement. Second, you can pay for necessary expenses like a divorce attorney without alerting anyone.
2. Act as Though Monitored.
Even though this bank account is in your name only, don't lose sight of the fact that the money in it is likely still marital or community property. Generally, money earned while you are married is considered something that both spouses have a certain right to. Even if you earn it as your own salary and spend it separately, behave as though someone is looking over your shoulder at how you spend the funds. Use them for legitimate living expenses, but don't go on a while shopping or spending spree.
3. Keep Records Off-Site.
When you set up your new checking account, arrange for delivery of statements to a location not accessible to your spouse, shared family members, or others. It could be electronic delivery to your own, new email account, or physical delivery to a different address. Store all statements, letters, and records away from the home — possibly with your own trusted friend or family member.
4. Make Full Use of Services.
This bank account should be viewed as more than just a way to protect income from your spouse. Look at it as a fresh start to a new life. Learn about the bank's services, such as online bill pay and mobile apps. Consult with a personal banker about the best investment or savings options for your situation. And set up recurring transfers or investments for your future. While your spouse may get some of this money you're managing, you will benefit even more.
Opening a new checking account is a positive step toward controlling your money and your life. And if you take the right steps to protect the account now and use it as a stepping stone to the future, you'll have a solid foundation as you take the necessary step of divorce. Learn more by meeting with a quality bank in your area today.Share
16 June 2020
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