Whether the divorce process has only just begun or is on the cusp of completion, attention to future financial stability should rarely be placed on the back burner. When first filing, the end of the road can seem like such a distant event that some people might fall under the wrong impression that taking care of finances can wait. Although it is never too late to start planning for financial security after divorce, those who begin planning as early as possible might have the best shot at achieving long-term stability.

One of the first steps that many people in Illinois take is to immediately shut down joint accounts. While eliminating accounts that have both individuals’ names on it is certainly a smart idea, it is not always as feasible as some would like. For instance, simply shutting down a joint bank account can be tricky without consent from the other party, and closing it out before setting up a new, single user account can prove troublesome for paying certain bills. Additionally, if the joint account is a loan or line of credit that still has a remaining balance, it cannot be closed; however, it might be frozen instead.

Keeping an accurate account of all money from joint accounts or even assets can prove to be enormously helpful, especially if one or both parties are supposed to be paying off certain debts. Remaining aware and up-to-date on all accounts and their balances can help spot any oversights, including failing to remove an ex as an authorized user from an otherwise single account. Physical copies of important and relevant information pertaining to the finances of these types of joint accounts should be kept updated and readily available, especially if property division is approaching rapidly.

Waiting until after a divorce has already been finalized to take a good hard look at the financial future can reveal a grim outlook. Divorce is not a one-issue process, and couples must address a myriad of issues — often including property division and spousal support — before ever reaching a settlement. In order to achieve the best outcome possible, individuals filing for divorce in Illinois are well advised to consider all aspects of life after divorce and how that might impact their decisions beforehand.

Source: moneytalksnews.com, “10 Financial Moves That Keep You Sane During a Divorce”, Marilyn Lewis, July 23, 2015