Separating assets during a divorce can cause a lot of conflict. In order to reduce the risk of conflict, you need to take a number of steps early in the process. Attorneys recommend taking the following steps as soon as possible.
Set Up New Accounts
The first step is to open an individual checking account. This account, which can be opened with a small amount of cash, will become the centerpiece of your new, separate financial system.
Next, decide with your spouse how joint bank accounts will be handled. In most cases, the best approach is to close the accounts and divide the cash. Keep records of how much was in the account originally and how much each of you received.
Eliminate or Freeze Joint Credit Cards
It is often best to obtain your own credit card as soon as possible. Joint accounts should be closed or frozen so that new charges can’t be placed on them.
Freeze Savings Accounts
Obtain updated statements for savings, investment, and retirement accounts, including your spouse’s pension and 401(k) accounts. Arranging for the accounts to be frozen so that no funds can be withdrawn and no loans can be taken against them is also a good idea. Obtain a current plan description for each account.
Taking these steps early will position you to preserve your cash accounts. Your lawyer can help you determine the best approach to managing these key assets. Our attorneys at Smith Strong serve areas from Richmond to Williamsburg. Call today to make an appointment for a consultation: Richmond, (804) 325-1245 or Williamsburg, (757) 941-4298.