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Divorce is never an easy process and can be particularly difficult when it comes to managing the financial aspects. For women, the financial burden of divorce can be incredibly overwhelming, so it is important to take proactive steps to protect your finances during this time. Here are 11 key steps women should take when preparing for a divorce:
1. Make copies of all financial documents
2. Create a budget
3. Open separate accounts
4. Reassess insurance coverage
5. Update wills & trusts
6. Research tax implications
7. Seek professional advice
8. Consider credit counseling
9. Evaluate Social Security Benefits
The Social Security spousal benefits for divorced women are determined by the length of their marriage. If a woman was married to her ex-spouse for at least 10 years, she is eligible to receive up to half of her former husband’s Social Security retirement benefit amount. This benefit can be significant depending on how much the previous partner earned during his working life. For those who have been married for less than 10 years, any spousal benefits may be limited or unavailable. Additionally, for all divorces, the woman must have been unmarried for at least two consecutive years before collecting Social Security spousal benefits from a former spouse. It is important to consult a financial advisor before making decisions regarding Social Security to understand what options are available.
10. Set boundaries with communication
11. Stay organized
Document keeping is key when handling anything related to finance while going through a divorce. Make sure all relevant documents (including those pertaining specifically to alimony/spousal maintenance) are kept well organized and accessible throughout negotiations and maintain detailed records of all communication between former spouses and their attorneys regarding these topics as well. Doing this beforehand helps ensure smooth sailing and makes due diligence easier once everything has been settled legally.