A woman takes off her wedding ring

Financial Planning After Divorce: Rebuilding Your Wealth and Securing Your Future

By Michael DiFalco

In many ways, divorce can represent a new beginning and a fresh start in your life. This can be both freeing and frightening, especially when you consider your need to chart a financial path forward that may not include support from your ex. Your financial world post-divorce could even include making child support or spousal support payments.

As soon as it appears to you that you and your spouse are headed for divorce, it’s important to begin planning for what your financial life will look like afterward. Consider these key tips that can help you protect your future and rebuild your wealth following a divorce in New York.

Determine Your Assets, Income, and Expenses After Divorce

Begin by carefully considering what your sources of income are and what expenses you have following divorce. If you are employed, the income you receive from your job may be a significant, but not the only, source of funds with which you can support yourself. 

You might also be entitled to receive:

  • Assets, like the marital home, furniture, or a vehicle
  • Separate property, like inheritances you received
  • A business or business assets that you receive in the divorce
  • Spousal support, if you do not have a ready source of sufficient income 
  • Child support
  • Retirement and investment accounts, including a portion of those belonging to your spouse if you have none of your own

You will also want to consider the debts you are now responsible for paying. In many cases, courts will assign each party debts that they incurred or that are attached to the property they receive. For example, suppose that the court awards you a vehicle. You can expect to be ordered to pay any debts on that vehicle.

Get New Financial Accounts for Your Assets and Income

It is also a good idea to set up new accounts for yourself into which you can deposit your financial assets. You may have been awarded an account you previously held jointly with your ex. Even so, it may be unwise to continue using that account, as your ex would likely have the account’s information available. 

A fresh start with your financial accounts is often a welcome step in post-divorce financial planning.

Change Your Estate Plan

If you created a will, trust, or any other estate planning document while married to your spouse, you will want to update these documents as soon as possible. A divorce decree in New York does not automatically nullify a will or trust that names your ex as a beneficiary. This can harm you as well as any future spouse you marry.

For example, many individuals give their spouses power of attorney in the event that they become too ill or injured to take care of their own affairs. This designation needs to be changed, or your ex will continue to have a legal right to access and control your financial affairs. 

Take Steps to Rebuild Your Wealth 

A divorce can impact your finances in other ways you might not expect. For instance, your income tax obligation will change, as you can no longer file using the married filing jointly status. You will also need to determine whether you are eligible to receive some of your ex’s Social Security benefits.

Make sure to separate yourself from any joint credit accounts with your ex so that their payment history does not impact yours, and you can build your own credit. You will also want to purchase life insurance.

Addressing these financial considerations can help you rebuild your wealth after your divorce. A New York divorce lawyer can assist you in putting a comprehensive financial plan in place and ensure you explore all of your options.

Turn to a Garden City Divorce Lawyer to Protect Your Future

A Garden City divorce lawyer from Aiello & DiFalco LLP can do far more than just help you obtain a divorce decree. Your attorney can also help you protect your property and finances both during and after divorce proceedings, as well as work to develop a plan for rebuilding your wealth going forward. 

Contact Aiello & DiFalco LLP to schedule your consultation today.

About the Author
I am a partner at Aiello & DiFalco LLP, and my priority for my clients is to guide them through an arduous court case to provide them with the opportunity to write the next chapter in their life. I tailor my approach to each client’s priorities and positions, and to the extent that matters can be predicted, I will always provide a realistic perspective of how the law could be applied to the particular facts and circumstances of a case. Since I thrive on helping people and solving problems, I bring an optimistic and positive approach to practicing in a very difficult area of law. With more than a decade of experience handling hundreds of cases, I have the ability to get results on the issues my clients view as priorities. When cases or certain issues cannot be settled, I have a solid record of success at trials, hearings, and on appeals. Feel free to contact me for a free initial consultation, I am always available to help.