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    March 3, 2016

    Four Steps to Take Now to Ease the Financial Strain of Divorce

    greenville south carolina divorce lawyer family law attorney

    Facing the prospect of a divorce is never easy, and it is understandable to have fears not only over your personal future, but your financial future as well. Making the changes necessary to go from a two income household to making ends meet on one income is a challenge, particularly if you are not prepared. While your married life may have been focused on accumulating assets and building good credit together, your new focus needs to be on setting yourself on firm financial grounds and establishing credit for yourself. If you or someone you love is contemplating getting a divorce or separation from their spouse, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself financially in advance.

    Steps to Take If You Are Considering a Divorce or Separation

    Conventional wisdom used to be that women had more to lose financially than their male counterparts when it came to getting a divorce or separation. According to a report in the American Sociological Review, studies in the 1980s claiming that women lost as much as 40 percent of their current standard of living while men gained a higher standard of living post-divorce may have been accurate at the time, but these facts do not hold true today. The report indicates that more recent studies have shown that men now have just as much to lose financially as women when going through a divorce. Two family households have become the norm, and in some cases, wives actually make more money than their husbands today.

    According to a 2015 news article in US News and World Reports, financial experts state that going through a divorce can be just as bad if not worse than enduring even a major downturn in the economy. Facing the prospect of losing as much as 50 percent of your total household income is daunting, and experts recommend taking the following steps before getting a divorce to help minimize the potential financial damages:

    • Organize important documents. When possible, go back at least five years in collecting bank account and credit statements and statements from retirement or credit union accounts to ensure your partner has not been slowly funneling money out of your accounts in anticipation of your break up.
    • Get a copy of your credit report. Review it carefully to ensure there are no loans or accounts that you are unaware of.
    • Get credit in your name. Divorce can have a negative effect on your overall credit score, so begin now in establishing your own credit, separate from your spouse.
    • Review your will and change your beneficiaries. You likely have your soon to be ex-spouse named as a beneficiary in your will and on life insurance and retirement accounts. Make changes to these documents now, and do not forget to update and healthcare powers of attorney you may have given to your spouse.
    • Get experienced advice. Now is not the time to go it alone, or to guess as to how or when the details surrounding your finances or your divorce should be handled. Get an accountant to help you with your taxes and managing your assets, and seek the advice of a qualified divorce attorney in regards to any paperwork that needs to be filed.

    Contact Our Experienced South Carolina Family Law Attorney

    If you or someone you care about is going through the process of a divorce or separation, contact our experienced South Carolina family law attorney today. At Lauren Taylor Law, we can provide you with the professional, comprehensive legal service you need, while defending your rights and ensuring your interests and assets are protected. Serving Greenville and the entire Upstate area, call or contact us online today for an initial consultation.