The end of a marriage is almost always difficult, and you may also have fears about how you may fare financially after your split. The steps you take during your divorce help paint your financial picture for the foreseeable future, so it is critical that you do everything in your power to position yourself well for what lies ahead.
The older you are, the more significant the potential financial fallout from your divorce may be. To give yourself your best shot at financial success, consider taking the following actions.
Establish a credit history
If you have been out of the workforce for a while so that you could support your spouse or family, or if you never took out credit in your name and yours alone, now is the time. Once you start living on your own, you may need to establish credit if you wish to obtain a loan for a mortgage, car and so on. If you and your ex share credit card accounts, now is a good time to close them and take out new ones in only your name.
Figure out what to do with the home
If you and your ex are homeowners, you must decide how to divide any equity you have in the property. Doing so may help you come up with enough money to make a down payment on a new place to live. Most people navigating divorce choose to sell the home, have one party buy out the other, or take turns living there until the home sells.
Consider retirement accounts
Texas is a community property state, so you should know how this impacts any IRAs or other retirement accounts you and your ex may have. Essentially, it means that both of you have a claim to these accounts and that you must split their value between you, regardless of whose name appears on them.
Update your beneficiary designations
Many married people choose to make their spouses their primary beneficiaries. Once your marriage ends, though, you may have different feelings about leaving your wealth to your ex. When and where possible, revisit your will and update your beneficiary designations to reflect your new life circumstances.