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Financial tips for divorce: Protect your future

When you get divorced, you embark on a new life, and that includes money matters. All the resources that have been going into supporting one household suddenly need to support two, which can be challenging for everyone concerned even in the best circumstances.

Add to that the fact that your soon to be ex may or may not be looking to make things easier, and you can be looking at a real financial blow if you aren't careful. Fortunately, there are steps you can take that will minimize the financial impact as you start your new single life.

Change your accounts

Unless the court tells you that you have to keep health insurance or some other coverage for your spouse, it's important to break free from covering for your spouse wherever possible. Some ways to do this is to update renters and/or homeowner's insurance policies so that you are only paying to cover your own stuff -- not your spouse's.

In addition, have your spouse removed from any credit cards in your name. You should also have new numbers issued and account passwords changed so that your spouse won't be able to run up charges on the bills you're responsible for. If you've been awarded ownership of the house or the car, have new titles issued that put these items solely in your name. You should also monitor your credit report to make sure there are no surprises.

Reassign beneficiaries

It's common for people to name their spouse as beneficiary on bank accounts, life insurance and retirement accounts. It's less common for an ex-spouse to have this designation - at least not on purpose. Look at any accounts that have beneficiary status and be sure the right person is listed.

Make a budget

Many people want to maintain their standard of living after a divorce in order to minimize the shock of the experience. This thinking can potentially get people into trouble. It is best to determine a new budget and try to stick to it to protect your future.

These tips can help you develop a better plan for your life after divorce. It may not be easy making these changes, but they will make a big difference in your life. It is always best to consult an attorney regarding divorce issues to make sure your rights and future are protected.

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