How to protect yourself financially from an oncoming Divorce

Kiplinger financial managers provides a good list of steps to avoid financial disaster of a looming divorce.

I think these are wise maneuvers:

1. Consult a lawyer.

2. If you do not have a credit card in your own name, apply for one.

3. Apply for checking and savings accounts in your own name.

4. To protect money or investments held in joint accounts, withdraw half of the money. If you withdraw all of the money the court could order you to give half back. Another option is to change the signature authority on any joint account so that both of you must sign in order to complete a transaction.

5. Collect all the information you can find on your spouse’s bank accounts, mutual fund and brokerage accounts, pension plans and retirement funds, insurance policies, and any other financial asset, such as real estate.

6. Get credit reports for both you and your spouse.

7. Hunt up copies of state and federal income-tax returns from the past several years and make your own copies.

These are wise because divorce, especially in the months leading up to separate and immediately following the filing of the divorce, is the wild, wild west. The couple’s legal rights and responsibilities are in legal limbo. Having access to liquidity and credit are critical in the opening days.