DIVORCE INITIAL TO-DO CHECKLIST
Much of the work of a divorce involves separating your joint finances and assets. You will want to begin with these steps.
CASH AND CREDIT
• If you don't have one, open a separate checking account. It's important that you have this account, even if the balance is small. You need your own financial system.
• Set aside some cash in a safe place.
• Close your joint credit card accounts and obtain a credit card in your own name. Alternatively, tell your credit card company that no new charges can be made on the joint card. Watch your credit report to make sure that your spouse does not obtain a new joint card (or apply for a joint loan).
SAVINGS AND INVESTMENTS
• Establish all your joint investment accounts to cash cannot be withdrawn and loans cannot be placed against them. Obtain statements for all the accounts.
• If your spouse has a retirement account, ask the retirement plan administrator for its current statement and a copy of the plan description.
• Rent a post office box and open a new email account to ensure that your communications are private.
• Change the passwords for your ATM cards, bank accounts, online stores, social networks, and email accounts.
• If you have a job, tell your boss you are going through a divorce. Offer to make up the hours you will miss.
• If you don't have one, start planning to get one. Update your resume, research job prospects, and begin applying for interviews.
• If you depend on your spouse's health insurance, investigate the cost and availability of continuing its coverage. Compare separately obtained insurance.