Divorce is always a highly emotional and stressful point in one’s life. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to ensure your financial stability after a divorce.
Seven Ways to Protect Yourself in a Divorce in New Jersey
Create a Financial Plan for Your Divorce
The first thing you should do to protect yourself financially during a divorce is to create a plan for your financial future post-divorce. Do you want to retain ownership of the home? Or are you willing to forego the house in exchange for another asset? Choices like these are inevitable, and it helps to have your priorities outlined when the time comes to decide.
Open Your Own Bank Account
Most couples choose to establish a joint bank account when they get married. Opening a separate bank account under your name will allow you to start building better credit for your future. Doing so may also separate your spending patterns from your spouse’s and protect you if your spouse goes on a reckless spending spree during the divorce process or seeks to harm you financially.
Separate Your Debt
Ensuring financial well-being requires being aware of your debt. The amount of debt that each spouse assumes will factor into determining how to equitably divide the marital estate between the parties.
During a divorce, debts may be categorized as either joint or separate. Separate debt generally refers to any debt that a spouse accrued before the marriage. Joint debt applies to most debts taken on during the marriage.
Monitor Your Credit Score
You should be proactive about protecting and improving your credit. Request credit reports early in the divorce process to understand what your profile looks like and what you can do to raise your score.
Take an Inventory of Your Assets
Much of your property from marriage will be considered jointly owned. You should make sure to note which assets belong exclusively to you. These individually owned assets may include inheritances and gifts brought into the marriage with you.
Review Your Retirement Accounts
Many divorcing spouses fall into the trap of assuming that their retirement account will remain theirs following a divorce. In New Jersey, your retirement account will be considered equitable distribution and therefore be subject to division.
Be sure to speak with an attorney or financial advisor, so you will know what to expect concerning your 401(k), IRA, or other retirement account.
Consider Mediation Before Litigation
otions are to be expected during a divorce. Even if you and your spouse disagree on a few matters, it can benefit both parties to resolve the divorce through mediation instead of litigation.
This approach allows for more creative solutions to resolution and can often leave you feeling more satisfied than if a court makes decisions for you.
Get Help Protecting Yourself and Your Future With Rigden Lieberman, LLC
If you’re wondering, “How do I protect myself in a divorce in New Jersey?” one of your first steps should be contacting a family law attorney you can trust. Our attorneys are experienced in both mediation and litigation to ensure that you are protected financially throughout your divorce.
Contact us today for a consultation to find out what we can do for you.