If you are initiating a dissolution in south Florida – or if you’ve just learned that your spouse is initiating a divorce – it’s vital to consider and discuss your credit and debt situation with your divorce lawyer. You’ll need to consider your mortgage, joint credit cards, and any additional outstanding credit. If you’re in south Florida, of course, you’ll first need to retain the advice and services of an experienced Boca Raton dissolution lawyer.
When you initiate a divorce, cancel all joint accounts so that your spouse cannot run up debts. Close any credit card accounts that your spouse uses or accesses, and open new, individual accounts in your name only. Get copies of your income tax returns, business financial statements as well as evidence of income information, including pay stubs. Make copies of loan applications, your brokerage statements, pension plans, insurance policies as well as any will that you have made.
Make sure that you discuss debts with your attorney and that you know what debts are marital debts and what debts are individual debts. If your debts are extensive or your finances are complex, your attorney may suggest retaining a financial expert to work on your behalf until the credit and debt issues in the dissolution are resolved.
What happens if one spouse files for bankruptcy during or immediately prior to divorce? If a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is approved, the bankrupt spouse will be free from the debts, and creditors will probably start looking at you. If both partners are deeply in debt, they can help themselves by agreeing to file a joint bankruptcy prior to filing for divorce.
After your divorce, you’ll want and need a good credit rating. Check your credit rating now to make sure there are no mistakes, that there are no unexpected charges made by your spouse, and that you haven’t become an identity theft victim. A divorce does not have to impact your credit score negatively, but it can if you aren’t careful. If you need legal representation for a divorce proceeding in south Florida, or if you simply need divorce-related advice so that you can better plan your future, contact an experienced Boca Raton divorce lawyer as quickly as possible.
Financial Steps that Women Must Take Before a Divorce
If you are a woman considering divorce, read on. The chances of financial insecurity, bankruptcy, and insolvency are dramatically higher for divorced women. You may believe that you have your affairs covered, but may not have accounted for the fact that alimony payments, child support payments, and other benefits settled on during the marriage, will hardly be enough to cover your basic needs.
It’s therefore important for you to get your interests protected, and get legal advice from a Boca Raton divorce lawyer as quickly as possible before you file for dissolution. There are also steps that you can take to protect your financial future.
As soon as you have made the decision to divorce, begin collecting financial documentation. Make a file of your bank statements, credit card statements, and other financial records. Once you have made the decision to divorce, open a bank account in your name, and create an emergency cash fund. Remember, when your spouse finds out that you’re considering divorce, you are going to have a battle on your hands. That battle will be not just traumatic, but it could also be lengthy. You will require access to cash resources during the dissolution, as well as after the divorce settlement is complete. Remember, you may not start receiving your child support payments or alimony payments immediately after the divorce. You will need cash reserves to fall back on until you do start to receive these court-ordered payments.
Get sound legal advice when you are considering filing for divorce. Speak to a Boca Raton divorce lawyer about getting your financial situation in order before the dissolution.
Financial Documents After A Divorce
During the dissolution process, many people spend considerable time obtaining, copying, organizing, and understanding their financial documents. As soon as the dissolution settlement is finalized, most newly-divorced people are ready to forget about their financial paperwork for a while. Don’t. Immediately after a divorce, you need to address several important financial matters. Of course, the more assets, debts, and accounts you have, the more work you’ll have to do. If you are divorcing in South Florida, let an experienced Boca Raton divorce lawyer handle your dissolution and help you address your divorce-related financial concerns and questions. A number of items must be updated immediately after a divorce, such as:
- Your will: Revoke your old will and make a new one so you can prevent your ex-spouse from receiving any of your assets. If you don’t have a will, create one now.
- Beneficiary designations: Remove your ex-spouse as a beneficiary from life insurance policies, retirement plans, annuities, bank and brokerage accounts, and anywhere else your spouse is a beneficiary. Beneficiary designations carry more legal weight than wills, so you must not neglect or forget to update your beneficiary designations after a dissolution.
- Everything else: Remove your ex-spouse’s name everywhere you do business and on every policy or account you own. That includes automobile titles and registrations, all insurance policies, credit cards, bank, brokerage, and investment accounts, passports, utility bill accounts, and “in case of emergency” contact information forms that you may have filled out in the past.
Ask yourself if there are other items that should be on your list. You may want to create new accounts with new account numbers. Of course, it’s imperative to change all of your computer passwords. As soon as you have your divorce decree, make several copies, because you’ll need them to make some of these changes. Sure, taking care of so much paperwork can be quite a chore, but keep focused and be sure you have the help and advice of an experienced Boca Raton divorce lawyer. If you are divorcing or considering a dissolution in south Florida, make the call today.