A divorce is going to have important financial ramifications on your life. We are not just talking about the cost of a divorce. You can save a bundle by getting an uncontested divorce anyway. We’re also not talking about things like alimony payments or child support. We are talking about financial separation. Want to know when to financially separate from your spouse in NJ? Find out here.
Should You Financially Separate Before Divorce?
You definitely should begin separating out your finances before your divorce. We’ll walk you through several of the things you should do:
- New Bank Account—If you don’t already have a bank account that is just yours, then you should make one. This is the first step for many.
- Establish Your New Account—Have your paycheck and any earnings deposited into this new account and ensure that any other income that is expressly for you goes into this account as well. This includes things like inheritances. Doing this avoids additional money becoming a marital asset and instead stays your asset.
- Get Your Own Credit Card—Get a credit card that is just under your name. If you have one already under your name, that will work so long as your spouse doesn’t have access to it. With things that go on autopay and other joint accounts that get set up, we recommend just canceling your current card and getting a new one to be safe.
- Get a Snapshot—As soon as your separation begins, ensure that you have a snapshot of what all personal and joint accounts look like including any accounts that you are paying on such as your mortgage.
- Document All Your Spending—Make sure that all your spending is documented. You don’t have to change your habits, but you don’t want payments for bills and household expenses to go undocumented. Having your own accounts will help you establish that as well.
- Separate Other Accounts—Do you have a joint cellular plan, a joint gym membership, or any other regular expenses that you will not want to share once your divorce is finalized? Now is the time to figure that stuff out.
What Should You Not do Financially before a Divorce
Now you know what you should do, but what about what you shouldn’t do financially ahead of your divorce? Keep these things in mind:
- Don’t Stop Contributing—If you want to keep your stake in the house or any other asset then ensure that you are still contributing to paying those expenses.
Read More: Who Gets the House in a New Jersey Divorce?
- Don’t Intentionally Draw Down Joint Accounts—It’s a bad idea to draw down a joint account and push that money into personal assets for yourself or even just dump it into your personal bank account. The divorce proceedings will decide what happens with that money, and if you drain it now you could end up owing it later.
- Don’t Make Large Unnecessary Purchases—Usually, large purchases aren’t going to be much of a concern so long as you make them with money that you can establish as yours. However, complications can arise, and now is not the time to make frivolous purchases.
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