Women need to be careful when they are hit with a divorce, because they can easily let themselves be taken advantage of without even realizing it. These 8 divorce survival tips can help you make it easier on yourself.
Be sure to have copies of everything, because if you don’t, they will probably be gone when you realize you need them. Put these things in a safe deposit box that only you can access.
Things you need copies of include:
- Tax returns (last 3 years)
- Account statements from banks and investment firms
- Pay stubs
- Insurance information
- 401K information
- Mortgage statements
- Loan agreements
- Credit applications (which typically lists assets that you may need to know as the divorce progresses)
Check Your Credit Report
Make sure you know what your credit report looks like and have any errors fixed. Then make a list of any debts that are joint accounts, because no matter what the divorce decree says, if both names are on the debt, both of you are responsible for it. If he decides not to pay it, it will affect your credit.
Open Accounts in Your Own Name
You will need to build credit independent of your husband (and his income). At the very least, you will want to open bank accounts in your name only. If you don’t have much of a credit history because thins are in his name, open a credit card or two in your name.
Know Your Social Security Benefits
Did you know that if you’ve been married for at least 10 years, you may be entitled to half of your spouse’s social security benefits? This can be the case even if he remarries. There are some conditions that need to be met, andyou can more by visiting the Social Security website.
Get a P.O. Box
If you are still living in the same home, or if there is any possibility that he can access your mail box, you will want to ensure your correspondence is safe. You will likely be getting mail from your attorney as well as other private things relating to your divorce. This is information he should not have access to, so get yourself a post office box, just to be safe.
Change Your Passwords
Even though experts warn against it, most of us use the same password over and over, or choose passwords based on things in our lives. Since you have been sharing your lives up to this point, your passwords may be very easy to figure out, allowing him access to your email, social media, shopping sites and anything else accessible via computer.
Secure Irreplaceable Items
Photos, jewelry and other special items that can’t be replaced should be moved to a secure place where they can’t disappear. Keep in mind, your memories are often memories shared by him. If possible, consider making copies so you both have the mementos that are important to you.
Join a Support Group
You might think this isn’t needed, but when your emotions get the best of you, you will need someone to talk to. Mutual friends may not always be the best choice, and it’s never a good idea to badmouth your spouse in front of your kids when you’re upset. A support group, or even a therapist, will allow you a safe place to express your feelings without causing problems for anyone else.
A group can also help keep you level-headed when you have important decisions to make that will affect your future. In addition to these 8 divorce survival tips, you may also be able to learn other strategies to help you during this difficult time in your life.