Just Divorced? Get Your Finances in Order this Holiday Season

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Divorce brings about a rollercoaster of emotions. From betrayal to grief, every stage of a Pittsburgh divorce is marked by powerful emotions which are oftentimes different for each person. But, over time, these emotions will begin to stabilize, the fog will lift and you will be faced with your future. Especially during the holiday season the emotions associated with divorce run high. Though in the beginning stages of a divorce, a future going solo might make you uneasy, when the time comes you’ll need to be prepared to move forward with confidence and control.

For many divorcing spouses, it’s been a great while since they were financially independent. In some cases, the independence following a divorce is an entirely new experience. Now entirely in control of your personal finances, you hold the power (and the responsibility) to plan for a bright future. Now you have to do all the holiday shopping on your own. Having to worry about expenses that you maybe didn’t have to worry about before can be quite daunting, and we totally understand that. In order to help our newly single Pittsburgh Divorce clients get back on their feet this holiday season, here are some tips to obtaining your financial independence this holiday season:

1. Update your accounts – Financial housekeeping is absolutely essential. If you changed your name as a result of the divorce, you’ll need to make changes to all of your accounts. Start with getting a new Social Security Card, then driver’s license and passport. From there, notify your bank, credit card companies utilities, insurance companies, the motor vehicle department, your children’s school(s), etc. The titles on all assets, such as cars and houses, will also have to be modified and recorded with mortgage companies. It’s also the time to think about updating beneficiaries on your life insurance, 401k, pensions and IRA accounts, as well.

2. Develop a comprehensive financial plan – During the divorce process, you probably got a pretty good look at what funds came into the marriage and what funds went out. Use this as a basis for developing a budget going forward. If your divorce settlement agreement included any lump sum payments, you’ll also need to develop a sound strategy for management of these assets. Establishing -and then sticking to -a financial plan is essential for financial stability.

3. Build your credit – Good credit forms the foundation of your financial plan. The first step in building good credit is to get a copy of your credit report. Your credit score is the starting point for all future financial decisions, so make sure you address any past due balances or inaccuracies contained in the report.

4. Seek help from an experienced financial advisor – Look for a financial advisor who is trained and experienced in working people after a divorce to help you build and keep track of your financial plan. Our lawyers work with local professional and would be happy to pass along a referral.

Whether you are newly single and looking for some legal guidance or facing a Pennsylvania divorce, contact the Western PA Divorce Lawyers at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates. Our team will provide you with the guidance and legal representation you need to get through this difficult period of time. Call us today to schedule a consultation.