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Divorce and property division: How to stay financially secure

Once you decide to divorce, matters of property and debt division will take over your life. It's not the only thing to think about during the divorce process, but it will definitely require quite a bit of your attention.

Your goal is to make decisions that allow you to remain financially secure during and after your divorce. While no two people are the same, there are some steps every divorcing individual can take to lessen the impact on their finances.

  • Create a post-divorce budget: With your financial situation changing, a post-divorce budget is a must. You should have a clear idea of your income and monthly expenses, as this will allow you to make the necessary changes. Also, consider anything you may need to purchase after your divorce, such as a home, car and/or medical insurance.
  • Create a property and debt division checklist: It's critical to have a clear idea of the property that's subject to division. The same holds true of debt. For example, you may have both separate and marital property and debt. Defining the two will help prevent errors that cost you money.
  • Close joint accounts and open individual accounts: Leaving joint accounts open is inviting trouble. This allows your soon-to-be ex-spouse to make purchases that both of you could be responsible for. Once the wheels are in the motion, close all joint accounts and open individual ones that you can personally use.
  • Update documents: There are many financial documents that require your attention after divorce. These include but are not limited to titles on real estate and motor vehicles, estate planning documents, security passwords, and beneficiaries on life insurance and retirement accounts.

Along with the above, focus on the steps you can take to protect your children during this difficult time. For example, if you're required to pay child support, consider how it will impact your finances and the manner in which your ex will use the money.

You're faced with many challenges during the divorce process, with matters associated with property division at the top of the list. Understanding your legal rights in Colorado and taking steps to protect them is a must. This will help avoid mistakes, while minimizing your stress level.

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