When going through divorce process, the ugly side of people can emerge.
Let’s Face it! You may come to find out that the man you once trusted at one point has betrayed that trust. You find it’s necessary to keep him at arm’s length across a variety of aspects of your life, especially your financial life.
You can take steps to protect your assets to a certain extent. You will note that some of these suggestions you should do on an on-going basis to protect yourself.
Tips for Protecting Your Assets:
1. If your Ex Husband has ever had keys to your residence; change all locks in the house. Just because you got a key back; doesn’t mean he didn’t make a copy.
2. If you have an automatic garage door opener, change remote settings and also keypad access code.
3. Internet Accounts: Change all passwords immediately. This is not only for the obvious financial institutions, it goes for any account you have. A friend divorced and didn’t change her frequent flyer accounts. When she went to go book a vacation utilizing her free miles; she discovered her Ex-Husband had already helped himself.
4. If you’re Ex has access to your house; like dropping kids off. Keep important papers under lock and key. If you have a computer, ensure you have login enabled and please don’t post the password on your desk!
5. Remove him immediately from all work related benefits. Not only will this most likely save you money; you will not responsible for any medical/dental claims. If he needs insurance he can get his own or Cobra is available for divorced spouses.
6. Change all beneficiaries for any insurance or investments you may have immediately. Ditto for your will.
7. If you receive child support or any other check from him, consider setting up a free bank account separate from your primary and transfer money as needed.
8. Everyone is eligible for one free credit report each year. You can google it online. Run a free credit report each year and review it. If you see any accounts open that are joint, you are financially obligated for payment. You should run this report every year to protect your credit. There are instructions online to tell you how to dispute items that appear.
9. After being divorced for a couple of years, I ran my first Credit report and came to find out that we still had one joint credit card he still used that I wasn’t aware of. I had come to find out that he was getting ready to declare bankruptcy and this would have affected my credit as well. I elected to pay off the credit card (it was a low amount), close the account and tell him what I did (not why!) I made the decision that having that not hit on my credit report was worth paying off the account.
10. If you are very concerned about your Ex opening up credit cards in your name, you can pay to have Credit Alerts put on your records. Anytime a credit check or credit is opened in your name, you can get an immediate alert to the activity and respond accordingly.
Let’s be Honest. It frankly sucks having to take these types of steps; but if circumstances in your life warrant it. This is just being financially responsible and you’ll sleep better knowing you’ve done your best to protect your assets.