Divorced spouses in Tennessee are sometimes unprepared for the financial challenges they will face as they adjust to living on a single income. Going though a divorce can be expensive if negotiations are unproductive and the case goes to court, and attending to all of the paperwork that must be dealt with to untangle a married couple’s financial affairs adds yet more pressure during an already tense time. The aftermath of a divorce is usually a period of difficult adjustment, but there are steps that spouses can take to prepare themselves financially.
Gathering documents and preparing budgets
Gathering important documents like bank statements, loan agreements and tax returns can give people a better understanding of their financial situation, which could help them to develop a post-divorce strategy. They should also use this time to analyze their expenses and prepare a budget. This often means making compromises and forgoing indulgences that they enjoyed while they were married.
Credit reports and debt
Divorced spouses are sometimes surprised to learn that lenders can pursue them for payments of debts that they thought were no longer their responsibility. That is why it is a good idea to obtain credit reports before divorce negotiations begin. When this is done, joint debts can be identified and dealt with proactively. Other matters that should be handled during or shortly after a divorce include changing the beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, updating estate planning documents and closing joint bank accounts and credit cards.
Sooner rather than later
Dealing with financial matters sooner rather than later is almost always a good idea, and this is especially true during a divorce. A divorcing spouse who has a clear understanding of their financial situation will be able to negotiate more effectively, and their careful preparation could leave them better prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.