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Laying the financial foundation while preparing for divorce

Money matters may have been at the core of your disagreements with your spouse. The silence, arguments, indifference and one-sidedness regarding money-spending and money-saving habits piled up so high that your marriage could not recover.

As it turned out, the two of you did not share the same philosophies about money. Now that you have decided to pursue a divorce, it also represents the time to break away financially. You must lay the foundation toward separating your finances and becoming financially independent if possible. For some spouses, especially those in affluent households, this can be a challenge.

Making the breakaway to independence

Many women in a divorce find themselves facing financial challenges that they have never faced. In many cases, their husbands were the primary breadwinner and often controlled the money. Here are some tips on the steps you need to take for that breakaway:

  • Gather all financial documents: They may include tax filings, credit card statements, mortgage records, bank account information, life insurance information and those related to retirement accounts.
  • Check your credit report: You do not want to find any surprises, and you just might discover that your spouse made some questionable financial decisions.
  • Open new financial accounts in your name: Perhaps you previously held joint accounts with your spouse. You will be on your own now, so you need your own accounts.
  • Apply for your own credit card: You need to build credit pronto now that you are single. Getting a secured credit card is the route to take if you have limited or no credit.
  • Talk with knowledgeable professionals: The list may include a financial planner, a skilled divorce attorney and a therapist.

This is reality, and you need to prepare yourself. Laying the groundwork toward financial independence is a necessity. And do not be afraid to ask for guidance along the way. Your divorce represents the next chapter in your life. This new beginning starts with a healthy dose of financial research on your part. You will do fine.