Especially in community property states, this step is extremely helpful for protecting your income, your sanity, and preparing you to live life on your own.

Once a date of separation is established, your spouse can no longer claim half of your income as theirs, or any new assets you acquire with that income. A move to your own apartment, new home, or even back to your parents house makes it clear that you and your spouse are no longer functioning as a couple.

On the other hand, if you live in a “separate property” state, generally everything with your name on it belongs to you.

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Consolidating finances marriage video

When you choose a new password, make sure it has nothing to do with your life together.

No family names, birthdays, pet names, or other information that your ex would have knowledge of.

Also, review all of your accounts and take note of which are joint accounts.

In some cases, you won’t be able to close these accounts until reaching a divorce settlement.

Do not authorize your spouse as a user or joint account holder. And don’t speak poorly of or cause major issues with your spouse.

Use the credit card and rewards wisely, and don’t run up huge bills. All of these actions can come back to haunt you during the actual divorce. While the fees may be high, the stakes are even higher.

You might need the card for an emergency in the very near future. That being said, a good lawyer is simply not an option for many people.

Mediation and arbitration are less expensive and less time-consuming options that occur outside of a courtroom.

Income received after this date should be untouchable by your soon-to-be ex.