accounts http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11653/all en-US 5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Divorced http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/marriage_money_000050529986.jpg" alt="Married couple making money moves when getting divorced" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Half of all marriages end in divorce. And while hiring a lawyer is commonly an instinctive first move, seeking guidance from a financial adviser isn't &mdash; and it should be. Severing ties with a spouse means cutting the cord on matters both emotional and financial. And it's smart to discuss each and every one of them with a professional if you're not equipped to handle them yourself. Read on for our roundup of the important money moves to make the moment you say, &quot;I don't.&quot;</p> <h2>1. Know Your Assets</h2> <p>It's imperative that you understand your assets &mdash; what you have as a couple, as well as what you're entitled to after the split. This includes what you want, what you need, and what you lawfully ought to get. You should know, for instance, that assets acquired during marriage are divided in accordance to laws that vary by state. Learn those laws and how they'll apply to you.</p> <p>Start a file and fill it with photocopies of your financial records. Seek out professional help if you come across something you don't understand. And, if you don't already know the role your spouse has played in handling your shared finances, find out. Then, educate yourself on those duties so that, post-divorce, you'll be able to pick up his or her slack when you're on your own. Taking the time to develop this level of fluency in your financial state of affairs is the best preparation for life after divorce. And it's a great way to begin to position yourself for good financial health once the divorce process is over and done with.</p> <h2>2. Know Your Child Custody Strategy</h2> <p>If you have children, there are important questions you need to be able to answer. Which parent will live with the children? How will you coordinate visitation rights? What are the child support payment requirements in your state, and who will enforce them when the divorce is finalized? How will you and your soon-to-be ex approach saving for your child's higher education? Child custody mediation is one way of processing all of this. With the help of a neutral third party, parents can sometimes work together to chart a plan for parenting after the split.</p> <p>Another option is arbitration, in which the arbitrator acts like a mediator but also has authority to make legally binding decisions. Mediators, on the other hand, simply guide parents through the process of coming to an agreement about custody matters on their own.</p> <h2>3. Terminate Joint Accounts</h2> <p>In your journey to protect yourself from any possible financial liabilities, one of the first actions you should take is to inform your bank of the pending change in your marital situation. Consider canceling any bank accounts or credit cards you share jointly with your spouse and opening new ones exclusively for yourself. You should also terminate or change the password on any online accounts you jointly held: email, social media, Apple ID, and so on.</p> <p>However, you should discuss these moves with your spouse before your make them, and invite his or her input on how to go about handling them. Be amicable whenever possible. And most importantly, keep track of whose money is in each account &mdash; this will be important information during the division of assets.</p> <h2>4. Pinpoint the &quot;Date of Separation&quot;</h2> <p>In some states, the date of separation is the day on which one spouse informed the other of their intent to file for divorce. In others, it's the date on which a married couple physically separates &mdash; for instance, the day one spouse moves out of the house. Then there are those states that mark the date of separation as the day on which the divorce is finalized in court. Find out the guidelines for your state and use them to determine your own date of separation.</p> <p>This date is important because it draws the dividing line between all of the assets and income that the court will deem as marital property and everything that you and your spouse own separately. The implications can be enormous. For example, a big bonus, salary raise, or any debt acquired by one spouse before the date of separation would likely be considered marital property that will be divided between the couple. Income and assets acquired after the date of separation do not need to be divided.</p> <h2>5. Determine Whether You Need a Lawyer, Financial Adviser, or Both</h2> <p>An attorney isn't required in order to process a divorce &mdash; but one can be helpful. If you and your spouse can trust one another to negotiate fairly, then you might not need to involve any attorneys, which will help keep down costs. But if you can't agree to play fair and square, then it might be smart to lawyer up. Determine where you stand.</p> <p>When it comes to deciding whether you need a financial adviser, the litmus test is actually quite simple: Do you thoroughly understand your current financial situation and how it will change once you are divorced? Do you understand all of the options available to you in your quest to limit your financial liabilities? If you answered a confident &quot;Yes&quot; to these questions, you probably don't need to seek the help of a financial adviser, though you may want to anyway. If you answered &quot;No,&quot; then the financial benefits you'll attain through hiring a financial adviser will likely outweigh the cost.</p> <p><em>What other moves should you make when you decide to get divorced? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-year-end-financial-moves-you-must-make-now">10 Year-End Financial Moves You Must Make Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family accounts child support custody divorce legal moves money moves separation Wed, 17 Feb 2016 11:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1656434 at http://www.wisebread.com Get a Grip on Your Debt: How to Obtain a Clear, Concise Financial Snapshot http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-grip-on-your-debt-how-to-obtain-a-clear-concise-financial-snapshot <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-a-grip-on-your-debt-how-to-obtain-a-clear-concise-financial-snapshot" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/292528514_2cbe446b3a_b.jpg" alt="Financial Snapshot" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This is part three of my </em><a href="#series"><strong><em>Getting Out of Debt:&nbsp;The Essentials</em></strong></a><em> series.</em></p> <p>In the first two parts of the series we laid the 'mental foundation' to start our surge against debt.&nbsp; For most, this groundwork is essential to succeeding, however there comes a time for action.&nbsp; That time is now.</p> <p>Before we can know where we are going, it helps to know where we currently <em>are.</em>&nbsp; Studying the past does little good right now.&nbsp; We want to examine our current situation, stop the bleeding, and keep our focus on moving forward and on the new habits we <em>will </em>be installing (not the old ones that led to our problems).</p> <p>A key step in the process is obtaining a clear, concise financial snapshot.</p> <h2><strong>Debt can be sneaky...</strong></h2> <p>Unfortunately, when dealing with finances (and certainly debt) one of the biggest issues is that we don't <em>realize</em> how bad our situation really is.</p> <p>The 'monthly payment' mentality adds fuel to this fire.&nbsp; Instead of considering what an items full purchase price is, we just ask ourselves, &quot;Can I afford the monthly payment?&quot;&nbsp; A $20,000 new car is much easier to swallow if we only look at the $325/month car payment.&nbsp; This is obviously a dangerous mentality, but one that is rampant in our consumerist society.</p> <p>This will be one of the first hurdles we need to overcome.&nbsp; We need to ditch the 'monthly' mentality and start looking at our overall financial situation.</p> <h2><strong>I'm not an accountant!</strong>...</h2> <p>Yeah, neither am I.&nbsp; But getting a clear and concise financial snapshot doesn't have to be rocket science.&nbsp; It doesn't take a degree or a fancy license.</p> <p>We tend to <em>excuse</em> ourselves from having to deal with the dire nature of our financial problems because we are convinced the process is <a href="http://manvsdebt.com/42-ways-to-radically-simplify-your-financial-life/">too difficult or complex</a>.</p> <p>But that's not the case at all.&nbsp; It's another justification.&nbsp; Just another hurdle to jump.</p> <h2><strong>Ignore Income and Spending</strong></h2> <p>No, I'm not crazy.&nbsp; These are essential parts of the problem (probably the two largest), however we do not need them to get our financial snapshot.&nbsp; Don't worry, we'll be attacking these two categories aggressively very soon.</p> <p>For now, we will just be piecing together the rough draft of our net worth.&nbsp; How to calculate your net worth is of a little debate in the community.&nbsp; What do you consider a positive asset? &nbsp;What do you consider a liability?&nbsp; 'Experts' have all sorts of unique definitions, but we will be keeping it super simple.&nbsp; Once again, we aren't accountants.</p> <p>For assets, be very general and focus on the big ticket items.&nbsp; Don't include personal possessions this first time around.&nbsp; Remember, go big.&nbsp; You can always come back and add later.</p> <p><strong>Assets may include:</strong></p> <ul> <li>A conservative value of any real estate.</li> <li>Current retirement accounts</li> <li>Savings accounts (and other liquid accounts)</li> <li>A <em>very</em> conservative value for each vehicle (and recreational vehicle)</li> </ul> <p>There are many more types of assets and each of the above categories are extremely broad.</p> <p>Treat liabilities in the same way.&nbsp; While your cell phone contract is technically a liability, we aren't worrying about accounting for every tiny detail at this point.&nbsp; Shoot big.</p> <p><strong>Liabilities may include:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Mortgage(s)</li> <li>Credit Cards</li> <li>Student Loans</li> <li>Business Debt</li> <li>Car loans/leases</li> </ul> <p>Basically, you are going to want to list every person or entity to which you owe money.&nbsp; Once you've covered the 'big ticket items' yourself, I strongly suggest you pull a free copy of your credit report to check for any liabilities/debts you may not remember or know of.</p> <p>When checking you credit report you should use <a href="http://annualcreditreport.com"><strong>www.AnnualCreditReport.com</strong></a>.&nbsp; This is the only site you need in 99% of situations.&nbsp; I've previously written a <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/10/27/how-to-get-your-free-credit-report-online-a-step-by-step-guide/">step-by-step guide to this process</a> with full screenshots for those of you that are doing this for the first time.</p> <h2><strong>Organize the Lists!</strong></h2> <p>Already now we should have a rough list of our general assets, a rough list of our major debts, and a copy of our credit report.&nbsp; Now it's time to organize it into an easy-to-view snapshot.</p> <p>When organizing, I will once again suggest to make the process incredibly simple.&nbsp; It's easy for complexity to creep in, but I try to stick with 5 categories for each asset/liability.</p> <ul> <li>Name of asset/liability</li> <li>Account Number</li> <li>A <strong>rounded number</strong> of the total amount owed (or value).</li> <li>Interest Rate</li> <li>A general 'Notes' Section</li> </ul> <p>I suggest creating on simple table for your assets and one for your liabilities.&nbsp; I generally order assets with the <em>highest </em>value item on top, and I order liabilities with the <em>lowest</em> value on top.&nbsp; It doesn't matter what you do this first time around.&nbsp; Just getting the first snapshot together is the key.</p> <p>As you are adding the items on your credit report to this list, put a star next to (or write in the notes section) for each debt you believe may have an error.&nbsp; Later, you can call these debts and verify the information.&nbsp; Mistakes do happen frequently with credit reporting and correcting this simple mix ups can have a drastic effort on a lackluster credit score.</p> <p>That's it!&nbsp; There's your first snapshot.&nbsp; Keep the list handy and over the next few days and weeks you'll probably remember things to add to it.&nbsp; The more you revisit and examine the snapshot, the more clear it will become.</p> <p>Take you new list of liabilities and tape it to the refrigerator (cover up the account numbers for guest)!&nbsp; ;-)</p> <h2><a name="series"></a>Getting Out of Debt: The Essentials</h2> <p>Over each of the next couple of weeks, an additional segment of the series will be released. The links below will be updated as each new articles goes live:</p> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/acknowledge-you-have-a-problem-with-debt">Acknowledge You Have a Problem with Debt</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debt-free-living-is-attainable-if-you-want-it-you-can-have-it">Debt-Free Living IS Attainable. If You Want It, You Can Have It.</a></li> <li><strong><i>Get a Grip on Your Debt: Obtain a Clear, Concise Financial Snapshot</i></strong></li> <li><i>Dissect the Source: Understanding Your Income and Spending Habits</i></li> <li><i>Plan to Win: Debt Reduction Methods and Emergency Funds</i></li> <li><i>Aggressively Attack Your Debt</i></li> <li><i>The Art of Maintaining Motivation while Overcoming Debt</i></li> </ol> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/adam-baker">Adam Baker</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-grip-on-your-debt-how-to-obtain-a-clear-concise-financial-snapshot">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-increasing-your-financial-literacy">Tips for Increasing Your Financial Literacy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/uk-banks-are-blocking-customers-credit-cards-will-the-usa-be-next">UK banks are blocking customers&#039; credit cards. Will the USA be next?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-credit-where-credit-is-due-edition">Best of Personal Finance: Credit Where Credit Is Due Edition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-when-its-okay-to-take-a-loan">6 Times When It&#039;s Okay to Take a Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cant-get-a-bank-loan-8-other-ways-to-finance-your-business">Can&#039;t Get A Bank Loan? 8 Other Ways To Finance Your Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management accounts debt finances Mon, 28 Dec 2009 15:28:03 +0000 Adam Baker 4292 at http://www.wisebread.com