Bedrock Divorce Advisors
My Forbes.com Articles
- What A Divorcing Woman Needs To Know About Her Husband's Cash-Based Business
- Seven Key Points Divorcing Women Need To Know About Real Estate And Real Estate Appraisals
- Small World, Big Problem: Divorces Involving Dual Citizenship
- Five Best Financial Tips for Women Divorcing in 2013
- Financial Strategies for Divorcing A Narcissist
- Domestic Violence: The Awareness We Overlook
- Three Types of Financial Mistakes Divorcing Women Make (And How to Avoid Them)
- What Are the Consequences Of Hiding Assets During Divorce?
- Four Reasons Why A Woman Needs A Vocational Expert On Her Divorce Team
- Divorcing Women, Especially Those in Abusive Relationships, Benefit From Learning How to Secure Their Financial Futures
- How To Handle Difficult To Divide Assets
- Seven Must-Do Steps For Women Who Want Financial Stability Post-Divorce
- Can a Trust Protect My Assets in Divorce?
- Divorcing Women: Here's What You Need to Know About ATROs
- My Best Financial Advice for the Bride-to-Be
- What Would Monica Geller Say About Courteney Cox's Divorce Strategy?
- How Divorcing Women Should Handle Retirement Accounts and Pension Plans
- Three of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Health Insurance, Life Insurance and Social Security After Divorce
- How Some Men Are Upending Domestic Violence Laws to Scam an Advantage in Divorce
- The Five Key Points Divorcing Women Need to Know About Financial Affidavits
- Divorce Is Final, No Do-Overs Allowed
- The Four Divorce Alternatives
- How "Conflicting Out" Top Divorce Attorneys Can Impact Your Divorce
- Why Women Who Are Organized Often Do Better in Divorce
- 21 Signs That Your Husband May Be Hiding Marital Assets During Your Divorce
- Divorcing Women: Here's Where Husbands Typically Hide Assets
- Tax Tips for Women Going Through Divorce
- Three Key Steps to Help a Woman Protect Her Finances When Leaving an Abusive Marriage
- Divorcing Women: Don't Make These Five Costly Mistakes
- Why a Lifestyle Analysis Is So Critically Important For Divorcing Women
- The Six Personal Traits That Help Women Successfully Survive Divorce
- Why Do Successful Women Fall Victim to the Oscar Love Curse?
- Who Pays for College Tuition? Top Factors for Divorcing Women to Consider
- Alimony Reforms Continue to Create More Uncertainty for Divorcing Women
- Legal Separation or Divorce: Which is Better Financially?
- How Can a Divorcing Woman Get the Child Support, Alimony She is Owed?
- End-of-the-Year Checklist for Divorcing Women
- Seven Key Things Women Need to Know About the Tax Implications of Alimony Payments
- Five Steps a Woman Can Take to Help Her Family-Run Business Survive Divorce
- What is an Alimony Trust and Why NBA Ex-Wives Might Wish They Had One
- Study Shows Divorced Women Have Less Economic Security Than Women Who Stay Married
- Five Financial Lessons Women Can Learn from the Demi and Ashton Break-up Rumors
- How the Valuation Dates of Different Assets Are Decided During Divorce
- Why Divorcing Women Need to Pay Careful Attention to the Date of Separation
- Divorce Advice For Physically And Financially Abused Women
- Warning: Don't Let Friends, Family or Non-Divorce Professionals Give You Divorce Advice
- What a Volatile Stock Market May Mean for a Woman’s Divorce Settlement Agreement
- Why Even Happily Married Women Should Meet with a Divorce Financial Advisor
- Divorcing Women Need to Answer These Key Questions Before Deciding to Keep The House
- Don’t Let Your Ex-Husband Inherit Your 401(k)
- Six Must-Do Financial Steps for Women Facing Divorce
- In Many States, Alimony Reform Has Gone Too Far
- Five Ways To Tell If Your Husband Is Hiding Assets
- Financial Tips for Women Facing Grey Divorce
- Can You Get a Divorce Do-over?
- June Brides, Are You Ready for Divorce?
- Upfront Lump Sum Payment or Alimony? Why Some NFL Ex-Wives Are Now Smiling
- Does Maria Shriver Have A Prenup? Why Did Arnold Put His Movie Career On Hold?
- The Secret to Surviving Divorce With Your Finances Intact
- Even Affluent Women May No Longer Be Eligible For Credit Cards
- The Big Thing Celebrities Fight Most About When They Divorce - And Why You Should, Too
- Should You Disinherit Your Husband?
- Divorce-Proof Your Business, Even If You’re Still Single Or Happily Married!
- Understanding How Assets Get Divided in Divorce
- Welcome to Divorce Dollars and Sense
- Three financial mistakes divorcing women make & avoiding them | Sue Atkins on Do You Live in a Community Property State or an Equitable Distribution State?
- Three financial mistakes divorcing women make & avoiding them | Sue Atkins on The Difference Between Separate and Marital Property
- Three financial mistakes divorcing women make & avoiding them | Sue Atkins on How is Debt Divided in Divorce?
- Pros And Cons Of Keeping A Secret Fund In Case You Divorce - Forbes on The Difference Between Separate and Marital Property
- Pros And Cons Of Keeping A Secret Fund In Case You Divorce - Forbes on How to Find a Divorce Attorney, Divorce Financial Planner and Other Members of Your Divorce Team
How To Start Preparing Your Personal Finances for Divorce
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
When the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu said that nearly 3,000 years ago, he certainly wasn’t talking specifically about divorce – and yet, his words of wisdom do apply.
Divorce is a journey, of sorts. And, even though the mere thought of divorcing your husband may seem completely overwhelming at first, you do have to engage in the process. You have to take the initiative. You have to begin with that all-important first step.
As a Divorce Financial Strategist(TM), my advice is that you start this “journey” by getting a handle on your personal finances. With just a few relatively simple steps, you can be on your way to establishing a firm financial foundation, one that will serve you well as you proceed through the divorce and long into the future, too.
For example, in order to start preparing your personal finances for divorce you need to:
1. Take inventory of all financial documents and records. Gather all your financial records, including bank account information, mortgage statements, credit card bills, wills, trusts, etc. (See more details in our Divorce Financial Checklist.) Once you have collected them, don’t keep these records in your home. Make copies, and take them to a trusted friend/family member, or use a safe deposit box that your husband can’t access.
2. Begin securing funds for legal and other professional fees. You’ll need resources to hire a qualified divorce team. If your husband controls all access to the family funds, he can make this difficult (if not impossible). Choking off the money supply is a common tactic, but there’s no reason you have to fall victim to this kind of financial squeeze. Be proactive instead. Make sure you have funds that are secure and available only to you.
3. Open new accounts in your name. Your divorce attorney may instruct you to withdraw up to half of your joint funds and deposit them in new accounts. (State laws will dictate what you can and cannot do.) Don’t use the bank where you have your joint accounts. Go to a different bank, and open a new checking and savings account in your name. Moving forward as a single woman will require that you establish good credit, so open a new credit card account in your name, as well. Keep in mind, though, that new federal regulations are making it harder than ever for women with little or no income to establish credit on their own. You’ll have to proceed with caution . . . just make sure you do proceed.
4. Get a copy of your credit report. While gathering your financial records (Step 1), be sure to get a copy of your credit report, too. Monitor it so you can keep tabs on your credit score. (See my post, How To Protect Your Credit Score During Your Divorce, for more tips.) Plus, if you keep a watchful eye on your credit report, you’ll also be the first to know of any unusual activity. Is your husband charging gifts for his girlfriend on your joint credit cards? Or is he dissipating marital assets in some other way?
5. Open a post office box. You need your mail delivered to a secure, locked box that only you can access. Make sure you use this address to receive correspondence from your divorce team, your new accounts, etc.
6. Change your will, medical directives/living will, etc. Most states won’ t allow you to completely disinherit your husband until after the divorce is final. But, you can take steps to prevent him from making medical decisions on your behalf or inheriting all of your assets should you die before the divorce settlement agreement is signed. Remember, you’ll also want to change beneficiaries on life insurance policies, IRAs, etc.
Once you have completed these initial steps, you will be on your way towards a new and secure financial future. Take it step by step, and you’ll start feeling less overwhelmed, more knowledgeable and better equipped to continue on your journey to a single life.
All content on this site/blog is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. If you require legal advice, retain a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, who is not an attorney.