10 Things You Need to Do When You Divorce, Part 2

by Norris Law Group on June 27, 2014

10 Things You Need to Do When You Divorce, Part 2Divorce can be an extremely emotional experience. But if one is able to separate the emotion out of it and look at the process from a practical standpoint for a minute, it may become clear that there is also a great deal to do. Most of the activity will affect your life and the lives of your children for years to come, so while it is important to allow yourself to feel all the emotions that come with a divorce, it is also important to get organized as quickly as possible.

LearnVest, a website that concentrates on personal and family financial matters, interviewed Jeff Landers, a divorce financial planner, and Ellen Derrick, a LearnVest certified financial planner, to get some answers as to what divorcing people should do to secure their positions throughout the process. Landers and Derrick provided 10 Things You Need to Do When You Get Divorced. The final five appear below, and the first five are featured in the previous installment of this blog.

  1.  “Settle the kids’ college savings.” Ellen Derrick recommends that you and your ex-spouse discuss which one of you will pay your children’s college expenses. If you have a 529 plan for each child, which can have only one owner and one successor owner, Derrick says, “Each parent may want to have a separate account so that he or she doesn’t have to mix funds with the ex-spouse.”
  2. “Divide your accounts—and create a new budget.” You may receive a financial settlement in the divorce, but you are now responsible for all of your own financial decisions going forward. Derrick says, “Look at what your budget is going to look like as a single person.”
  3. “Maintain bank accounts and credit in your own name.” Landers recommends opening a bank account at a bank other than the one you used during your marriage, as well as credit accounts in your name only.
  4. “Figure out individual property vs. shared property.” Property acquired prior to your marriage is usually viewed as separate property, while property acquired during your marriage is community property (aka marital property or communal property). Any property acquired after the date of your formal separation is typically considered to be separate property once again.
  5. “Decide how you’re going to handle taxes in the future.” You should be aware that your federal tax filing status does not change from “married” to “single” until after your divorce is finalized. Enlist the help of a tax professional to learn more about how you should deal with your taxes going forward.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of asset protection. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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