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5 Things to Consider in a Divorce

Joint accounts and beneficiaries are just a couple of things you might overlook when you face the emotional upheaval of a divorce.  With such a huge life change, it’s completely understandable, so we’ve compiled a quick list of things to remember – including how you can get a whole team of support. 1.
By MSA Staff

Joint accounts and beneficiaries are just a couple of things you might overlook when you face the emotional upheaval of a divorce.  With such a huge life change, it’s completely understandable, so we’ve compiled a quick list of things to remember – including how you can get a whole team of support.

1.  Joint Accounts and Other Assets

Take a moment to write down all of your financial accounts and other assets (e.g. real estate, artwork, etc.) that you have as a couple.  Consider joint checking accounts and lines of credit.  Next, decide together when you will establish new individual financial accounts, when you will move funds from the joint account(s) to your new accounts, and how much you will transfer.

2.  Beneficiaries

When it comes to adjusting assets, it’s easy to think about the house and the authentic Persian rug and the joint checking account you use every day, but what about your 401(k), wills and/or trusts?  If you fail to change your beneficiary, your ex-spouse may get an unexpected windfall in the event of your untimely death.

Make sure you designate a new beneficiary on all financial accounts, insurance policies and estate planning documents, as well as those through your employer: IRAs, pension plans, your 401(k), life insurance policies, wills, trusts, supplemental retirement plans, etc.

3.  Powers of Attorney

If you gave your spouse legal powers while married, you might want to select another person to have control of your affairs in case you are incapacitated.  This could include (but is not limited to) Advance Directives like Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions or Durable Power of Attorney for Finances.

An attorney can help you understand what needs to be legally changed due to your divorce.

Did you know that members get free legal referrals to trusted attorneys in their area and receive a discount on the attorney’s fees?  Your Money Coach can also help you prepare for your meeting with your attorney so that you have a better idea of what to ask and how to make the most of your meeting.

4.  Mediation

Also known as “alternative dispute resolution,” mediation allows you to resolve issues yourselves rather than relying on the court.  A mediator doesn’t make decisions for you; rather, he or she facilitates the process so that you and your spouse can create a settlement agreement before filing for a divorce.  Even if you prefer not to try mediation, keep in mind that some states require the court to order mediation as part of the divorce process.  (Members can also get referrals to local, reliable mediators.)

5.  A Whole Team of Coaches for Financial Support

The emotional toll and immediate necessities of a separation often take over your to-do list during a pending divorce.  Get a team of specialists to guide you through this transition and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything when it comes to your finances.  Did you know that our Money Coaches have certifications like Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® and Life and Work Coach?  Work with a Money Coach Tax Specialist to adjust your withholdings and understand the changes to your taxes once your divorce is final.  Talk with a Money Coach Budget Specialist about how to create an effective spending plan for a single-income household.

We have helped thousands of members navigate a divorce.  While a divorce is an extremely stressful and expensive life event, members feel great assurance and relief by talking with a Money Coach who can help them take all the right steps.  Here’s an awesome example:

“[My Money Coach] has taken me from a very fearful person who did not know how to manage money [after] divorcing from my husband and didn’t know if I would make it through my first couple of months, to someone who is now able to budget, put away money, and is very confident about my financial future.  For example, I have been able to purchase a townhouse, have eliminated my debt (credit score is 807 and 803), have increased my amount of savings for retirement, and can now look at long term investing (I am doing that now.), travel and other goals that I thought I would never be able to do!!  My life has completely turned around with the help of [my coach], I guess you could call her a life saver!!  I can never repay the peace of mind she has helped me to achieve; it really is priceless!!”

Your financial goals don’t have to be swept aside during this transition, and you don’t have to move forward alone.  You have a whole team of Money Coaches who can help you establish a new financial plan for success and get you connected with an attorney and/or mediator.  Call 888-724-2326 to get started.

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