Money can be an emotional subject. We all need it to survive these days, but how much is enough depends on who you ask. Many of us have longstanding money issues due to how we were raised. Sometimes, those financial stressors can even wreak havoc on your romantic relationships.
In fact, data from the National Survey of Families and Households suggests that financial disagreements, more than any other subject of debate, are a strong indicator of divorce. If endless arguments about money were contributing factors to your divorce from your spouse, it is possible that the division of your marital assets could become quite contentious.
Make a plan to safeguard your assets
If you are anticipating a challenge when it comes to property distribution, it may be wise to take some preemptive steps to protect your pocketbook:
- Order a full credit report. Request your credit report from the three major reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to see a breakdown of all the debts in your name including any joint accounts shared with your spouse.
- Cancel any joint credit cards. Jointly held debts will be both of your responsibility to pay off. To avoid your spouse from racking up any more debt, be sure to cancel the joint accounts and open a credit card in your name only to help you transition.
- Hire a CPA for tax guidance. To avoid any surprises down the road, it may be helpful to have some professional support to better understand what your tax obligations will be post-divorce. Some things to ask about include tax exemptions for dependents, the right to claim head of household and which, if any, divorce-related fees are tax-deductible.
Pursuing divorce is hard enough with the emotional turbulence and life transitions as you separate from each other physically. Working with someone knowledgeable about marital property division can help ensure the cleanest break possible as you begin to move forward.