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Sharon Easley
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Prepare your finances before your divorce

Divorce can take a toll on your physical health, your personal and professional relationships and your finances. The costs, effort and time you put into ending your marriage may seem overwhelming as you deal with the sad, anxious emotions you have about your future. As you manage the anxiety of moving forward without a partner, it is important that you are financially prepared to take on the world on your own. Doing the following will help you build a better foundation to start fresh after the end of a marriage.

Close joint accounts and open your own

This should be your first step when you are financially preparing for divorce. Close all joint accounts and split the money that is left. Open your own accounts in just your name to protect the money you have from a spouse who may be angry or make bad decisions. If you both remain on the account and one decides to clean it out, the other is left with nothing.

Know your assets

If the other spouse managed the money and your assets, you may not even know what is at stake when you are getting divorced. This makes it easy for you to get swindled out of things that are rightfully yours. Before you start the divorce process, know what assets you have, including property, inheritances and anything acquired during your marriage. Take pictures with a digital date-stamp of all valuables, including collectibles, antiques and jewelry.

Separate loans

If you own a house that is in the names of both spouses, or have a car loan with both your names on it, you should remove yourself or your spouse from the accounts. If your name is on the mortgage and your spouse decides to quit paying, it can negatively affect your credit score.

Life insurance and inheritance

This is not something that people think about much during divorce, because it is not an immediate asset. If you have a life insurance policy or some type of inheritance, your spouse may be listed as the beneficiary. This should be changed during the divorce to someone who will remain in your life even after the marriage ends.

Watch your credit report

When you walk away from your marriage, you want to be as financially secure as possible. This means monitoring your credit report and closing any joint cards or loans you have together. Order a copy of your credit report and closely monitor any outstanding debts.

Get help from a professional

You may want to consult a financial adviser regarding your finances during divorce, and a mediator can help settle all the details without the costly, exhausting process of a divorce. If you are determined to end your marriage, speak to a mediator today about how to keep it as simple as possible.

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