Five Financial Moves to Make After a Break-Up or Divorce

The abrupt end of a long-term relationship is an emotional time full of self-reflection and raw feelings where you may feel like you can’t talk to your ex ever again. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to sever ties quickly regarding shared finances, but it will need to be done. If you’re not sure where to start, here are five tips for what you can do to get your finances in check and move on quickly post break-up.

1. Collect all your financial information

Dealing with your ex can be difficult fresh after a break-up, but it’s crucial you know where you stand financially now that the relationship has ended. If you shared a budget and contributed to household bills like utilities, rent or a mortgage, or groceries, then it’s important to know what bills you’ll need to keep up with now on your own. This is also a good time to take a hard look at your financial situation by checking your credit score and getting together the documents required (pay stubs, bank statements) should you need to find a new place to live.

2. Divide assets and liabilities

In addition to looking at your finances, you’ll also need to ensure your assets and liabilities are divided fairly. If you own property together, you’ll have to come up with a solution for how you will split the equity and when. You’ll also have to do this for any shared debts such as mortgages, credit cards, etc. If you’re worried that you’ll be stuck with an overwhelming amount of debt to pay off by yourself, start looking for actionable ways you can navigate becoming debt-free. Many use the debt avalanche method to create a path for paying off old debt from past relationships. Whatever method you decide to use, what matters most is ensuring you’re not getting stuck with the full liability load yourself if your ex contributed to the debt, too.

3. Update your subscriptions and passwords

Now that you’re single, it’s time to re-examine all your subscriptions and accounts that you previously shared with your ex. You might decide that you’ll no longer want as many streaming services as you had together or that your budget is telling you it’s best to downgrade your plans to save money. Above all, take the time to update passwords for any account in your name to retain complete control and ensure you don’t run into any issues.

4. Remove your ex from your insurance policies

If you were in a long-term relationship, you most likely have your ex listed as a beneficiary on your bank accounts and life insurance policies. Make a list of things you’ll need to update now that they’re no longer a part of your life. If they were on your healthcare plan, take them off as quickly as possible so that you can get a cheaper rate, as your insurer will now only need to cover you.

5. Start fresh but give yourself time

Finances are emotional as it is; add on the heartbreak that comes with the end of a relationship, and you may feel overwhelmed quickly. Things like removing your ex from your bank account, getting new accounts, or updating your beneficiaries rarely need to be done right away, so don’t feel like you’ve got to handle everything at once. Give yourself the time you need to heal and tackle each action item as you feel up to it.

The bottom line

Facing the end of a relationship isn’t easy, especially when it comes to separating finances. Use these five tips to get started and go slowly. Remember that with turmoil comes opportunity, and you’ll be able to move on from this soon for a better future, both financially and emotionally.

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