Choices we make now may haunt us in the future. Rarely does someone get a chance to make a huge life choice decision with so much data and foresight than when they're getting divorced. There is a lot of data supporting things you should do, with one of them being "not end up dead-broke."
The Washington Post personal finance writer Jonnelle Marte came up with a few ways you can make sure you follow some basic rules during a divorce. Some are a little obvious, but some give any future divorcees a nice roadmap out of the way of bankruptcy soon after saying, "I don't."
Redo The Budget This is where you seriously assess a life without your spouse. Can you afford your car, house or day-to-day living expenses? If not, it's time to makes some changes. Either you have to give up or agree to the sale of the property, and also figure out what you can live without.
Know Your Credit Score This one can be a biggie, especially if the person doing the assessing wasn't the primary breadwinner in the family.
Making steady payments and freeing up available debt may help people lift their credit scores to the point where they qualify for their own credit card. Closing a card that both spouses had access to may ding both people's credit scores, especially if it is an account that has been open for a long time.
Check Your Retirement Plan Even if they're nowhere near retirement age, a couple that has been together for a few years will split any and all retirement funds saved up during their years together. So if you've been married since your first adult paycheck, that means your future funding has been halved.
If you're already there, make sure any funds portioned out of a tax-deferred account are rolled over into another qualifying retirement account in order to avoid steep taxes and withdrawal penalties. People should also think about changing the beneficiaries on their retirement accounts to that of another relative or loved one if the account was previously designated for a spouse.
For more:5 ways to keep a divorce from being needlessly expensive (Washington Post)