Rebuilding your finances during a separation

When a Maryland couple separates, regardless of the reason, it doesn't just hurt emotionally, but it also hurts financially. A legal separation or divorce results in each person being on their own again just as they were prior to their relationship. The period of time that precedes this does not involve only mending one's broken heart, but it is also a rough uphill battle in rebuilding one's finances, which includes one income instead of two.

One of the first steps in rebuilding finances on one person's income would be to look at the numbers realistically. Develop a spreadsheet, or use an online website, to track incoming income and outgoing expenses, including all utility bills, monthly payments, credit cards, etc. Try to consolidate what debt you can to pay out less each month while still paying off your debt in a timely manner. Next, one would want to ensure that their name is taken off of any and all joint credit accounts. Once this request has been made, a credit report request can confirm the changes.

One will also want to have a look at their insurance policies, such as medical and life insurance. Make certain that safety nets are in place in the event that something happens creating less or no income coming in. In addition, review beneficiaries to ensure that the proper person is listed.

While it will most likely be difficult rebuilding your finances, one should never feel alone in the process. It is important to find an advocate that will work on your behalf. In many cases, if one spouse was working so that the other could stay at home, spousal support may be able to be obtained in Maryland. Any couple considering a legal separation or divorce should be well aware of all options available to them so that a well-informed decision of the process can be made. Divorce is can be a stumbling block; however, taking control of finances, the separation and everything in between will help one move forward to a better, more rewarding future.

Source: The Globe and Mail, "Getting divorced? Five steps to get your finances back on track," Angela Self, May 16, 2012