Joining the world of singledom after years of marriage can be a scary prospect. Life situations change with separation or divorce, and a couple's financial world is not shielded from those changes either. California couples who have decided to separate for a couple months or who are formally ending their marriages might do well to consider doing a few things to safeguard their individual financial interests.
Debt is a four-letter word that divorcing individuals can do without. Canceling credit joint credit cards and establishing individual ones is a wise idea, especially to establish individual credit ratings. If one partner in the marriage hasn't been privy to finances, he or she should acquaint himself or herself with the marital financial picture. The more knowledge a person in a divorce situation has, the better he or she will be able to make decisions.
If the couple has decided to separate before making a decision to divorce, having an attorney draw up a separation agreement may be the most important thing to do. Such an agreement will spell out any financial particulars during the time of the separation. The agreement would likely cover things like who would be paying what bills, the terms of spousal and/or child support, how assets will be divided, and so on.
In the early stages of a legal separation or divorce, starting a new relationship is not be wise and neither is airing private issues on social media sites. Likewise, spending too much money may also be unwise. If this is a trial separation, becoming too comfortable in a new way of living may make it more difficult to reconcile.
Whether a couple in California is calling it quits formally by getting a divorce or undergoing a trial separation, obtaining legal counsel may simplify the process. An attorney would be more apt to offer suggestions regarding what one should and should not do, legally speaking, when it comes to ending a marriage or partnership. Knowing what should and should not be included in any formal documents may reduce a client's stress level.
Source: forbes.com, "Dos And Dont's Of Marital Separation", Jeff Landers, Accessed on Jan. 31, 2018