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Rethink financial concerns after a divorce

Going through a divorce brings many responsibilities to both parties before, during, and even after the proceedings. Recently divorced spouses in Arizona may worry about their financial situation since financial obligations likely rank high among concerns. Even if the terms of the divorce deliver an agreeable financial outcome, money concerns may arise. To help address the situation, the newly divorced should be deliberative when handling post-divorce financial matters.

Working at developing and maintaining a sensible budget might be a smart first move. Married couples may have their finances co-mingled. After the divorce, each spouse now has to establish his/her budget, and then make sure the budget keeps spending and debt low. A fiscally prudent budget should also focus on putting money into savings.

Besides making traditional savings and investing a top priority, it would be valuable to set up an emergency fund. Since there is no spouse to rely on, putting money away for an emergency seems advisable. Financial problems could arise without warning, and a financial safety net may prove valuable.

Spouses might benefit from immediately closing joint accounts and moving assets into a single name. Both parties on a joint checking account, brokerage account, and the like may legally withdraw all the money without the other party’s consent. Joint ownership gives each owner the legal authority to do so. Jointly owning assets with an ex-spouse might be a costly mistake. Perhaps such accounts should be closed without delays.

Similarly, it may be advisable to review wills and other estate planning documents. Divorce does not necessarily mean one ex-spouse may wish to remove the other ex-spouse from a will or an accounts beneficiary designation. Still, some might find doing so to be the preferable decision. Others may choose to reduce the amount of money the ex-spouse receives. Regardless of the final decision, it becomes wise to review such things to make sure current decisions are reflected in the documents.

A family law attorney may assist with divorce matters and estate planning. A client could also ask the attorney for insights into financial matters.