Divorcing a spouse often means disconnecting different financial accounts from your wife or husband. You probably have to close out joint bank accounts and credit cards while setting up new ones in your name. However, you might fail to completely cut off your ex from your finances.
With the complexities of divorce, it is easy to overlook some important steps. Kiplinger explains how to secure your assets so your spouse does not retain some sort of access.
Uncouple joint accounts
You may have linked to your bank accounts through automatic payment or withdrawal provisions. When you create your new accounts, you should not forget to redirect your connections to these accounts. You will also need new checks to go along with your new bank accounts.
Check listed beneficiaries
It is likely that you listed your spouse as a beneficiary on some assets. Some spouses want to keep an ex as a beneficiary even after a divorce, but if you do not, you should check any account that could have a beneficiary designation. Common examples include IRAs, 401(k)s or other retirement accounts, as well as insurance policies.
Check transfer on death provisions
It is possible to designate someone to take over an account after you die through a transfer-on-death provision. You may have set up your spouse through one of these provisions. Following your divorce, you should change your designations as you see fit so a child or another family member takes over your accounts after your death.
These steps are especially important if you have not built up your own credit. Maintaining your own accounts and not being responsible for the debts of your ex can help you secure loans for important purchases such as a new home following your divorce.