Sometimes divorce is a long time coming for couples in Eastern Long Island while other times it comes as a complete shock. If you are served with divorce papers, there are some steps you will want to take to protect your financial future.
Collect all financial documents and records
It is important to have copies of all your financial documents and records when heading into a divorce. This could include bank statements, credit card statements, mortgage statements and estate planning documents such as wills and trusts. Keep copies of these documents in a safe place other than your home, such as with your attorney or a safe deposit box that your ex does not have access to.
Open your own financial accounts
Another important step is to open your own bank accounts. Do so at a different bank than the one where you might have joint accounts with your estranged spouse. In addition, obtain a new credit card account in your own name that is separate from any jointly held cards you may have.
Monitor your credit card report
It is important in the property division process that both spouses report all their assets and debts. However, this does not always stop unscrupulous spouses from trying to hide spending or assets. If you monitor your credit report, you will be able to track any spending made using joint credit cards or the dissipation of marital assets.
Many times, a person lists their spouse as a beneficiary to a life insurance policy, retirement account or in a will or trust. You will want to change these beneficiaries when you are able to ensure your hard-earned assets do not go to your ex if you pass away.
Seek legal advice
Going through a divorce is not easy. It is important to have your own attorney who can advocate for your interests throughout the divorce process. A dedicated advocate can provide you with crucial information about your options when it comes to divorce issues such as property division, spousal support and child support so you can make informed decisions.