Protect What's Yours During Divorce

If you are contemplating divorce, you may be worried about your financial future. You know you could be losing a significant portion of your marital assets, including up to half of your retirement account, your home in Naples and anything else that you acquired during the marriage. These worries are not uncommon among women facing divorce.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do right now to start protecting your money and financial future. Read further for some tips to secure your finances during a divorce.

Open your own accounts

If all of your bank accounts name both you and your husband as account holders, it is time to open your checking and savings accounts. You may even want to do this with a new bank. In addition, apply for a separate credit card that is in your name only. Part of starting over after divorce means establishing yourself as financially independent. You will need to establish your own credit history if you intend to apply for a car loan for a new vehicle or perhaps buy a new house.

Make a full list of assets and debts

Take a complete inventory of your assets and debts -- this includes any that are in one or both of your names. Gather everything you can such as credit card statements, tax returns, property titles, and loan statements. By having a full account of the assets and debt, you can get an overview of what will be part of the divorce settlement.

Make a decision about the house

If you and your spouse are still making mortgage payments on your home, it is important to remember that the financial institution that holds the mortgage does not care if you and your husband are divorcing. They still want their money. As soon as possible, the two of you should make a decision about whether or not to sell the house. If you choose not to sell, be sure to transfer the mortgage to the party who will assume 100 percent responsibility for the home loan.

Prepare to negotiate about retirement accounts

If you have a 401(k) or another retirement account that is solely in your name, this does not mean you will walk away with it. In general, retirement accounts are marital property and will be subject to division. When the subject comes up during negotiations, do not let it catch you by surprise.

If you are considering divorce, the above tips can help you prepare for your fresh start. It is important to take steps to protect your financial future as soon as possible.