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Are your finances ready for divorce?

Several factors can lead a couple to divorce, but a difference in financial habits is a major one. No matter your reason for deciding to divorce your current spouse, knowing how to handle your individual and shared finances helps set the stage for the next chapter of your life. 

USA Today breaks down several financial tips. Use them to improve your finances as well as your peace of mind. 

Second-guess unsolicited advice  

If you have friends or family who have gone through a divorce, they may shower you with advice that you did not ask for. While not every suggestion you hear may be useless, you should most certainly think twice about any financial wisdom you hear. Let family and friends offer emotional support while educated and experienced professionals offer financial support. 

Shut down joint accounts  

Write down all joint accounts that you share with your current spouse. Discontinue all activity on these accounts until you finalize your split; you do not want to jeopardize your credit score or report by adding more debt to your name. 

Monitor all spending and income  

To get a better idea of your financial health and outlook as a single person, keep close track of all your spending and income. Besides personal use, making note of incoming and outgoing money helps when it comes to deciding on such divorce items as child support and alimony. 

Look into estate planning  

Your will, power of attorney, advanced healthcare directive and other related estate planning matters may include your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. Decide who you want to act as your new beneficiaries and power of attorney should you become incapacitated in the future. 

Understandably, you can become overwhelmed with everything that you need to do during divorce. Prioritize your financial health; you are sure to be glad that you did.