Five things every woman needs to know about divorce and making sure you’re taken care of.
First, many states determine the value of retirement assets to be split based on the official date of separation, not divorce. So, if you separated in May 2006 but don’t divorce until 2007, the courts may direct you to divide assets as of May 2006. So, if your husband is about to get a bonus you should wait to separate. Or if you’re expecting a bonus, get out fast.
Second, if you leave your husband the house, make sure he refinances immediately and takes your name off the mortgage. If your name is on it and he defaults, it will affect your credit.
Third, make copies of all your recent financial statements so there’s an accurate record of all money to be split.
Fourth, make sure you know about all the credit cards taken out during your marriage. If you have any cards with balances on them, pay them off and close the accounts.
Fifth, if you’ve been married for at least ten years you qualify to receive half the amount of your husband’s benefits when you reach full retirement age. And, even after divorce, if your ex-husband dies you’re entitled to survivor’s benefits starting at age 60.