When you hear the word divorce, many things may come to your mind, and most of them are probably not fun or positive. Ending a marriage in Illinois has a reputation of being a challenging and emotional experience. You’ve also likely heard horror stories about how expensive divorce can be.
Any person who has been through a divorce will likely say that the process of ending their marriage was anything but cheap. It doesn’t take long for legal fees, court costs and document fees to add up. Then there are things like retirement accounts and the family home that will have to be sorted out. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to protect your finances and make your divorce a more efficient and less expensive process.
Create separate accounts and freeze joint accounts
When divorce becomes inevitable, one of the first and most important things you may need to do is freeze any joint bank accounts. This will prevent your spouse from taking money out of the accounts. Also, if you don’t have a separate bank account, now is the time to create one. This will allow you to stash some money away to pay personal and living expenses while your divorce is pending.
Have separate credit cards
Many spouses have joint credit card accounts. When divorce becomes imminent, it is a good idea to create a separate credit card account, if you have not already done so. Your money may be tied up for months in the divorce, so having a credit card will allow you to pay for necessities like groceries or gas. However, before you apply for a credit card, you may want to consider checking your credit score to get an idea of where you stand.
Change auto insurance and cell phone plans
Changing your automobile insurance may seem like a low priority item, but it’s one easy way to save money during divorce. If you are divorcing, why should you continue to pay for your spouse’s car insurance? The same principle applies to your cell phone plans. You don’t have to wait until the divorce is over to make these seemingly small changes.
Hold off on major projects
Starting a major home improvement project before divorcing is a common mistake people make. You may think giving your spouse a new kitchen or new deck will save your marriage, but taking on a huge expense prior to divorcing is a good way to end up with financial difficulties down the road. Keep in mind that any debt you take on while married will still have to be paid.
Support is available
If you find yourself confused about money or budgeting issues, it can be very helpful to contact and meet with a financial advisor. The legalities surrounding divorce can also be quite confusing. Luckily, there is legal support readily available. While it’s true that divorce is going to be costly, ending a marriage does not have to cost you as much as you think.