Essentially, the process of divorce is fundamentally a business transaction. Thus, much of what occurs during a divorce involves your Orange County family attorney helping you and your spouse divide your finances and assets. Ideally, you and your spouse will find much to agree about during the process, but nevertheless, the following steps will help you get started:
- Open a separate checking account if you do not already have one. A large initial deposit is not necessary; it is simply important for you to have your own account that will be the beginning of your own financial system.
- Find a safe place to set aside some cash. Your Orange County family attorney should be aware that sometimes credit cards and bank accounts are frozen during a divorce. This can cause unnecessary difficulties and hardship to an already stressful situation.
- Talk with your spouse and find an agreeable way to handle joint bank accounts. Your Orange County family attorney will advise that closing the joint bank accounts and splitting the cash in them is the usually the best course to follow.
- Obtain a credit card in our own name and close all shared credit card accounts. If debt exists on one or more of the joint cards, it can be transferred to the individual cards. As an alternative, the credit card companies can be informed that no new charges can be applied to the joint cards. Either way, it then becomes incumbent on you to keep an eye on your credit report to ensure that your spouse does not apply for or acquire a new joint card.
- All joint investment accounts should be frozen to ensure that loans cannot be placed against them or that cash cannot be withdrawn. Make sure to acquire and maintain all account statements.
- If your spouse owns a retirement account, you should request a current statement from the retirement plan administrator, as well as a copy of the plan description.
If you have questions concerning divorce and/or childcare, and would like to talk with an experienced, competent, and knowledgeable Orange County family attorney, please contact Bethanie Fanti at 714-505-3108.