Going through a divorce is a major life change. Despite dealing with emotions, women and men both have to be prepared to make lifestyle changes. Income, expenses and debt may not have seemed like a daunting task during marriage, but as a single woman or man, paying bills, saving and investing for retirement, planning for your child’s college expenses, and other long-term goals will require savings, investments and financial planning. Below is a post-divorce financial checklist to help you become financially independent and stable following your divorce:
– Close any joint credit accounts.
– Remove your spouse’s name and/or change your name/address on all remaining accounts including:
- Bank, brokerage and investment accounts
- Credit cards
- Driver’s license, automobile title, registration and insurance policies
- Employer’s records
- IRS records
- Life, health, homeowner’s and disability insurance policies
- Post office (Remember to have your mail forwarded, too.)
- Professional licenses
- Social security card
- Title to real property
- Utility bills
– Research your health insurance options.
– Open a new bank account. Consider establishing direct deposit or income witholding for child support, spousal support and/or alimony payments.
– Request a copy of your credit report.
– Disinherit your spouse. Write and execute a new will, trusts, medical directive and/or living wills and power of attorney.
– Change the beneficiaries on your life insurance, 401k, pension and IRA accounts
Following your divorce, analyse your finances during marriage to understand your spending habits. Establishing and sticking to a financial plan will be critical in having financial stability. Compass Center for Women and Families’ financial education programs help individuals become self-sufficient and financially stable. Click here to learn more about our individual financial counseling and financial coaching/support program.
* Checklist from Jeff Landers on Forbes.com