Getting Divorced

Getting Divorced
Getting Divorced — The Challenges of Uncoupling a Shared Financial Life

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The Challenges of Uncoupling a Shared Financial Life

Approximately 43 percent of first marriages are projected to end in divorce.1 Clearly, divorce happens. And when it does, it can be financially challenging, especially for women. Families in which one spouse earns the income and the other cares for the home and kids can be hit especially hard. The wage earner now has to support two households and the homemaker has to readjust to the possibility of reduced income.

Dealing with the devastation

You need to become familiar with all sorts of legal and financial issues, such as property rights, alimony, debt, taxes, retirement plans and child custody and child support.

The emotional stress of a divorce can be difficult and you don't want unnecessary financial difficulties piled on top.

You’ll most likely need the advice of an attorney, but here are a few things you may want to do to help protect your
financial wellbeing:

  • Revise your will, trust and beneficiary designations on retirement plans and insurance policies to remove your ex-spouse if you choose.
  • Review your life insurance coverage.
  • Check your health and disability insurance. If you were covered under your spouse’s employer-provided insurance, your coverage may end.
  • Understand any tax implications and how those liabilities may factor into your settlement.
  • Uncouple credit accounts by canceling all joint credit cards and having new cards issued in your name only, so you’re no longer liable for your spouse’s bills.
  • Review your retirement assets and understand how the divorce may affect what you’ve saved. Pensions and retirement accounts may be negotiated as part of the settlement. Or a judge might simply divide your assets down the middle, suddenly leaving you with only half the retirement savings you had before.
  • Create a new “one-person” budget. Large expense items such as housing costs may change dramatically, and that can affect your ability to balance your budget going forward.

Plan with us

The emotional stress of a divorce can be difficult and you don’t want unnecessary financial difficulties piled on top.
Talk to an ING financial professional for guidance on formulating a plan that will set you up for better times ahead.

1 Source: National Center for Health Statistics

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