When you’re going through a divorce, there are a few things that seem self-evident. You know you might have to divide your assets and debt, and you should look into getting rid of your joint accounts. You may even have thought about the cost related to hiring lawyers to help represent you.
However, there are some other financial issues you could be forgetting about. It seems unfair to need to think of these money issues when your life is already turned upside down, but they are important issues to consider.
Here are 3 financial issues that you might be neglecting as you go through the divorce process.
1. Beneficiary Information
While you are changing your bank accounts and (hopefully) making sure your ex is no longer an authorized user on your credit card account, you may have forgotten some of the realities related to life insurance and retirement accounts.
The beneficiary information you have listed is what is honored if you pass away — not what you have in your will. Beneficiary information doesn’t take into account your marital status.
As a result, if you don’t want your ex getting the life insurance payout on your policy, or if you don’t want him or her accessing your retirement account if you pass, you need to fill out the necessary paperwork to make sure that information has been updated with your preferred beneficiary.
2. Digital Assets
You’ve probably divided up the assets you have in “real” life, but have you divided up your digital assets? Chances are you share an iTunes account or an Amazon account or other accounts.
My soon-to-be ex and I had several accounts related to the household. From Netflix to PlayStation Network, we had shared accounts connected to credit cards and a PayPal account. As a result, we had to figure out who gets to keep each account, and change the payment information associated with each account, as appropriate.
You don’t want to find out later that your credit card is still being charged for MLB TV. And, of course, the person doesn’t keep the account has to open his or her own separate account.
3. Health Insurance
Health insurance is something that I didn’t think about until it was almost too late. My husband’s job means that my son and I are still covered — at least until the divorce goes through. Then my ex-husband can change his plan so that we aren’t included.
This means I’ll have to get new health insurance coverage before that happens. However, things get a little more interesting when you have children. My son could stay on my husband’s health plan if we wanted to arrange things in that way. We are choosing to do something else, due to our living arrangements, but it’s a possibility to consider if you are going through divorce.
Another consideration is whether or not your needs will change in terms of coverage and deductibles. I’ll probably stick with a high-deductible plan so I can continue using my Health Savings Account (HSA). My husband, however, prefers a different approach now that he doesn’t have my income and HSA to use for a higher out-of-pocket expenses.
As you work through this challenging time, make sure you think about all of the financial angles. It’s not pleasant, but your future prosperity depends on it.
What are some other financial issues you need to address during divorce?