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Financial Advice to Consider After Divorce

If you are nearing the end of your divorce case, you should consider a few ways to improve your financial standing. You need to make sure you and your children are in good shape financially, and that tax time will not be impossible after the divorce. Consider a few tips to follow.

Obtain Copies of Your Tax Return

If you need the past year’s tax return for any reason, you can get it without having to contact your spouse or get his or her permission. If you used a tax professional to prepare the return the last year you were with your spouse, you can contact him or her to get a copy of it. Tax professionals have to keep all returns for up to three years, so yours should have any recent returns. If you filed taxes without the help of a tax expert, you can ask the IRS for a copy of the return, though there is a fee.

Update Your Will

If you prepared a will while you were married, you should update it since the beneficiaries have likely changed since then. If you previously willed all your assets to your former spouse, you will probably want to change that to either your children or your new spouse. If your new spouse also has children, you may want to address whether they will be named in your will as beneficiaries. In general, a lot has changed since your past marriage, so it is worth your time to at least take a second look at your will to make sure it is accurate.

Change the Beneficiary Named on Other Agreements

You probably also named your former spouse as a beneficiary for insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other types of accounts that pay out money at any point. Many people remember to take their former spouse’s name off their checking and savings accounts, but they forget accounts they rarely access. Unless you want your former spouse to profit off your death, retirement, or other major life events, you should make sure he or she is no longer part of such accounts.

So many facets of your life are affected by divorce. It can be difficult to keep track of the changes you need to make, especially when it comes to finances. But it is imperative that you modify certain accounts, especially if you want to make sure your children are taken care of financially.


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Fault grounds for divorce include adultery, constructive abandonment for at least one (1) year, cruel and inhuman treatment, and imprisonment of a spouse for three (3) or more years. Prior to October 2010, other than a legal separation agreement that was filed with the court, divorces were based on fault.
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