Arizona has one of the nation’s highest divorce rates, so many of its residents are familiar with the emotional consequences of a split. However, that’s only the beginning since divorce can be financially devastating and difficult. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce the negative financial consequences of this event, and thousands of people do it every year.
You’ll need to account for where you currently are financially, work on rebuilding your credit, and more. Although it’s a difficult time, neglecting your financial future will have serious consequences down the road. In some instances, you may find working with a family law attorney to be helpful.
Steps to Financial Recovery After Divorce
- Divorce is expensive and can indirectly lead to a lower credit score
- Conscious financial decisions will help improve your financial future
- Ensuring that your accounts are properly titled is essential
- Your beneficiaries must be updated to reflect your current needs after a divorce
- Working with an attorney can help you in the divorce process
1. Assess Where You are
If your finances were complex before, they might be intimidating to face after a divorce. Taking inventory of where you currently are financially is essential for moving forward. Create a separate sheet for expenses, assets, income, and liabilities. On each page, mention the type of account, who owns it, the amount in the account, and contact information for each financial institution.
2. Update Accounts and Beneficiaries
Another step to recovering financially from divorce is ensuring that your accounts are correctly set up to reflect your current situation. Since this is a highly individual decision, speaking with a lawyer for advice is best before you make any vesting decisions or rename beneficiaries. Go over all investment, bank, and retirement accounts.
Steps for Repairing Your Credit
Improving your credit score is an essential component of recovering financially from divorce. It will help you get a new place, take out loans in the future, and even (in some cases) assist you in securing your professional future.
3. Check Your Credit Score
Since you’ve recently divorced, it’s important to consider your credit score and history. The current standing of your score will usually depend on the financial arrangements you had with your spouse.
If you didn’t have any of the marital finances under your name, it might negatively impact your credit score. Start by doing a credit check to assess where you are now and what you should do next.
Ideally, you and your spouse will go over your credit reports together, since they often impact each other. But even if that’s not an option for you, checking your own score is a great first step.
4. Don’t Make Late Payments
You can improve your credit score by taking care of your bills by the agreed-upon date each month. This is essential for recovering from a hit to your credit score, as lenders will look at this information to find out how reliable you are with bills. This includes your phone bill, utilities, rent, student loan payments, and car payments.
Try to use every tool you can, including automated payments, to ensure you never make a late payment.
5. Don’t Open Unnecessary Credit
You might think of opening new lines of credit as an attempt to repair your score. But keep in mind that opening unnecessary credit can hurt your financial future by tempting you to spend more than you can afford.
Also, applying for a new credit account can temporarily hurt your score after the bank in question makes a hard credit inquiry. Fortunately, if you only have one or two of these inquiries within the past year, it will only impact your score minimally.
How Working With an Attorney Can Help
Sometimes, it’s difficult to reach an agreement with your soon to be ex-spouse, so getting legal assistance may be necessary. When it comes to your divorce process, a family law attorney can help you with a number of issues, including:
- Child support payments
- Child custody proceedings
- How to divide your assets
- Modifying a divorce decree
- Modifying a child support order
- How to handle spousal maintenance (alimony)
A divorce attorney can help you protect your legal rights and receive a more favorable outcome for your situation. They can support you through this difficult time and assist you in evaluating various options. In some cases, a legal professional can help you repair your credit concerning issues with foreclosure and tax matters.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Divorce in Arizona
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions for divorcing couples in Arizona:
Q: Am I entitled to receive alimony after or during my divorce process?
There are numerous factors that will influence whether or not you will receive alimony (spousal maintenance). The health of both spouses, how long you were married, the higher earner’s ability to pay, and your needs, will all play a role in this determination.
Q: Do I need to have a reason for getting divorced in Arizona?
No, this is a no-fault state, meaning that neither partner has to give a detailed reason for getting divorced. To start the process, one spouse has to assert that they believe their marriage is broken beyond repair.
Q: How long does the divorce process usually take?
Once your spouse receives the dissolution of marriage petition, a 60-day period must pass before the divorce can proceed. You may not finalize the divorce sooner, even if you’re in agreement with your ex about the conditions. If you still don’t agree with your spouse about the divorce terms, you’ll have to attend a trial. These proceedings might take up to 9 months in total to finalize the divorce.
Q: What if my ex won’t agree to my decision to divorce?
If your spouse isn’t on board with getting a divorce, they may request that you attend family conciliation, which handles matters such as child custody, abuse, or divorce. During this dispute resolution process, you’ll both need to agree to meet with a neutral third-party individual trained in resolving conflicts.
What to Do if You Need Help With a Divorce in Arizona
Divorce can be complicated, not just financially, but in every respect. Some divorcing partners will find it helpful to work with an attorney during the mediation process as it provides a neutral third-party who is a valuable source of information. Whether your case involves child custody, financial concerns, or tax matters, speaking with a family law attorney is a good next step for moving forward.
To get in contact and receive help with your divorce, give us a call at (480) 467-4348 or fill out a form below.
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