For New York residents who are considering ending their marriage, untangling their finances from their spouse can be a complicated and sometimes daunting task. This is especially true if an individual left bill paying and money managing to their partner throughout the marriage. Even in an uncontested divorce, couples still have to separate bank accounts and credit cards and determine who keeps automobiles and other property. In a recent article on the subject, it was stated that the first step to ensuring that someone receives an equitable portion of a couple's assets is to take stock of their financial situation.
This means going over bank account and credit card statements, looking at tax returns and seeing where money is invested. Once someone knows what they own as a couple, the individual will be able to ask for a fair share of it. People should also start splitting up accounts as quickly as possible. Individual bank accounts are necessary following a divorce anyway, and they can give people control over the money that they have without worrying about their spouse removing it from the account.
Couples should also be sure to close joint credit card accounts immediately. As long as joint accounts are open, someone's spouse can continue to charge items to the account, which both parties will be responsible for. Individuals should also ensure that they remove their partner's name from retirement accounts and other beneficiary forms. This is something that people often forget, and if someone passes away and their spouse is still named as a beneficiary, the individual's family will not get the payout.
When someone is considering filing for divorce, a lawyer could let them know what to expect and explain the process to them. The lawyer could also help someone understand how the law may impact their finances and negotiate on their behalf during divorce proceedings.
Source: FOX Business, "5 Money Moves to Make During a Divorce", Holly Johnson, October 08, 2013