After a divorce, you will probably be relieved that it is all over.
However, you should also be aware that there is always the risk of further litigation (legal fights) in the future.
This is one of the major factors affecting how you should handle your finances after a divorce.
Top 10 tips
(Please note that some of the following may apply even before a divorce.)
1 (if necessary, reach out to your ex-spouse and) close all joint accounts and transfer the funds to the appropriate places:
-Your funds should go into new accounts in your sole name.
-(Of course, any assets that the court divides in your favour should be transferred to your sole name as soon as possible.You should specifically instruct your lawyer or other professional to do this paper work.Because this paper work is usually separate from the divorce, they may take no action unless you instruct them to do the paperwork.)
2 consider opening a new bank account to receive only funds from your ex-spouse.(This may be helpful to help keep track of the funds received from your ex-spouse.)
3 decide whether or not to keep a paper trail of your funds and your expenses.
-Take note that if you keep a comprehensive paper trail (including all receipts, all credit card statements, etc.) of your funds and how they are spent, this can be helpful to prove your income, your expenses.This, in turn, can support your claim for more maintenance.
-However, this can also prove how much you earned and, possibly, how much you saved.
-The reverse of keeping a comprehensive paper trail is to "go cash" and leave no paper trail.This may make it more difficult to prove your expenses (Collecting all the receipts may counter this problem).However, this may also make it more difficult for your ex-spouse to track what had happened to the cash that you have withdrawn.
4 reach out to a financial planner to make a comprehensive financial plan for the future.
-It is important to identify all sources of income (including any maintenance and any division of asset payments or transfers) and allocate and invest them wisely.
-Your financial plan for the future should also cover liabilities.
-You should try to avoid bad debt (such as credit card debt and other high interest debts).
-If you have such debt, you should come up with a plan to pay down such bad debt as soon as you can.
-You should carefully consider "good debt" (such as low interest HDB housing loan which you are able to afford).
-You should ensure that your financial plan takes into account your child(ren)'s education and also your retirement.
5 (where you can afford it) buy insurance to insure you and the child(ren) against illness, death, permanent disability, etc.
-You should ensure that you consider carefully and name the beneficiaries to your insurance policies.
6 come up with a budget (working together with your financial planner).
-Try to save something every month.It may be 65% of your income or 25% of your income or only 5% of your income.Whatever the amount, try to save something.If you succeed, it means you are spending less than you are earning which is much, much better than the reverse.
7 (following from above) create an emergency fund.
-Start by gradually building up your emergency fund to 3 months of your salary. Then, aim for 6 months.If you able to afford it, then build it up to a year and then 2 years of your salary.
-In this way, you have a safety net in case you suddenly lose your job.
8 check with the credit bureau to confirm that your credit is good and that your ex-spouse has not adversely affected your credit worthiness.If the Credit Bureau still have the both of you on record as a married couple, clarify with them that you two have divorced.
9 make a will.This is because no one can tell the future and it is important to provide for your child(ren) and other beneficiaries.
10 make a CPF nomination.This is important for the same reason as above.
The above is not legal advice and should not be taken as such.
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Lam & Co. (Advocates & Solicitors): An International and Singapore divorce law firm.
We can help by addressing your questions and speaking about how to move forward.