Taking Control of Your Finances After a Divorce

Getting a divorce is very stressful for everyone involved, putting an end to future plans and disrupting your finances. However, there is good news once you reach the end of this long process—you have the chance to start over and create a new future that centers on your goals and dreams.

As you start to plan for life after divorce, make sure you are taking the right steps during divorce. Call Kirk Drennan Law at 205-803-3500 to set up a consultation today.

Adjust Old Accounts or Start New Accounts

Whether or not you and your ex-spouse commingled your finances, you should go through each one of your financial accounts and ensure that they do not have access. Depending on the nature of the divorce, you may want to go one step further and actually close your current accounts before opening new accounts at a different bank. While removing your ex-spouse from an account should prevent them from getting access, sometimes bank tellers can be talked into giving someone access because they have the same last name or were one time on the account.

Check Insurance Policies and POA Paperwork

Go through every single insurance policy and retirement account you have. If you forget to change your beneficiary on any of these, you could be giving your ex-spouse a large payout should you pass away. Make sure you change all of these accounts to benefit those you actually want your funds to go to after you die. Similarly, if you have any power of attorney paperwork that would go into effect if you became incapacitated, ensure that you name someone else in this paperwork.

Run Your Credit Report and Do So on a Regular Basis

Before the divorce is finalized, run your credit report with all three credit bureaus. Look for unfamiliar accounts or unusually high balances. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for a spouse to open secret credit cards or lines of credit in the months leading to a split. They may even take rarely checked credit cards and run up the balance, hoping you don’t check them in the interim. If anything suspicious has happened, you absolutely need it addressed before the divorce is finalized.

After the divorce is finalized, continue to check your credit report periodically. This is just good general financial advice, not even specifically for those who have been divorced. You want to ensure that none of your ex-spouse’s credit cards or lines of credit unintentionally show up on your report or drag your score down.

Set Up Automatic Payments

Your credit may take a hit after divorce if you fall behind on bills during the divorce. This isn’t uncommon; the costs of divorce plus the sudden drop in household income can be difficult to get used to. However, it’s time to get back on track once the divorce is finalized. Put your bills on autopay to avoid late fees and dings to your credit score and figure out a good budgeting system that works for you. While some people prefer good old pen and paper, many enjoy the convenience and ease of budgeting apps. Choose a system that requires minimal work and is easy to follow.

Develop New Financial Goals

Perhaps you and your ex-partner didn’t have clear financial goals, or maybe all of your goals centered on your life as a couple. Either way, it’s time to think about what kind of life you want long-term and what it takes to achieve that. Maybe this means putting more money in your retirement accounts, going back to school for more education, or starting that new business that has always been in the back of your mind.

This is the time to shake off the pain of the divorce and step into your potential as your own person. Take full advantage of it and make your money work for you.

Contact Kirk Drennan Law Today

Divorce isn’t easy, but with the right attorney, it can at least be less stressful. Let the team at Kirk Drennan Law help. To learn more about our options and start working toward this next chapter in life, call us at 205-803-3500 or get in touch with us online.

Personal Space: Jessica Kirk Drennan

A one-on-one conversation with Jessica Kirk Drennan, family law attorney.

B-Metro: What got you into the law and specifically family law?
Drennan: I grew up in a small town, Alexander City, so the big guys on the block were the lawyers and the doctors…that’s who you respected in town. That’s how it was in a small town. I wasn’t interested in medicine, but I really was attracted to the law from the time I had a mature thought about it.

B-Metro: What attracted you to the law?
Drennan: I liked the analysis of it and the verbal aspects, the debate. I have always liked that. I don’t consider confrontation, confrontation, I consider it discussion. It’s a lost art. And it is civil not uncivil. So I just always loved the idea of justice and I have always been for the little guy. That’s what attracted me to the law.

B-Metro: What was your first job like?
Drennan: After Tulane I went to work for a judge at first. Then I came home and a lawyer in town, Tom Radney, who was a big personality, called and wanted to know if I wanted a job. So I went home, interviewed and got the job. He talked the judge into releasing me from my clerkship and I went to work for him.
Six months out of school I went home and started practicing.

(View full article)

Kirk Drennan Law Receives Pro Bono Award from Birmingham Bar Association

Kirk Drennan Law is thrilled to have received the 2016 Small Firm Pro Bono Award from The Birmingham Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Program at the BBA annual meeting on December 9, 2016.

The Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program helps attorneys provide free legal services to low-income citizens unable to afford attorneys who need help with civil legal problems. The program provides legal help on issues such as evictions, collections/garnishments, divorce, child support, visitation, and other civil problems to those unable to afford it.

Visit the Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program page here. You can read more about Jessica Kirk Drennan’s volunteer activities on her attorney profile.

Jessica Kirk Drennan to Serve as Vice Chair of the Board of Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers

As part of Kirk Drennan Law’s commitment to serving the community, Jessica Kirk Drennan will be serving as Vice Chair of the Board for the Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program for 2017-2018. The Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program helps attorneys provide free legal services to low-income citizens unable to afford attorneys who need help with civil legal problems. The program provides legal help on issues such as evictions, collections/garnishments, divorce, child support, visitation, and other civil problems to those unable to afford it.

Visit the Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers page here. You can read more about Jessica Kirk Drennan’s volunteer activities on her attorney profile.

Megan Elder Listed as 2016 Rising Star Lawyer in BBJ

Congratulations to Megan Elder for being listed as a Rising Star Lawyer for 2016 in The Birmingham Business Journal!

Jessica Kirk Drennan speaks at Alabama State Bar Convention

Jessica Kirk Drennan was a speaker at the 2016 Alabama State Bar Convention on Thursday, June 23rd. Her presentation was titled “Hot Tips: Updates and Practice Pointers.”

You can view the convention program here.

Jessica Kirk Drennan to serve as a mentor at Bizwomen Mentoring Monday

Jessica Kirk Drennan will be serving as a mentor at Bizwomen Mentoring Monday on April 4, 2016. The event will offer attendees the opportunity to choose from 40 mentors who are the most-influential women in the community for one-on-one mentoring sessions.

When: Monday, April 4, 2016 7:30am-9:30am
Where: Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa

http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/event/141172

You can view Jessica’s profile here.

Kirk Drennan Law listed as 2016 Top Flight Law firm in B·Metro

Kirk Drennan Law is pleased to be listed as 2016 Top Flight Law firm in B·Metro Magazine.

http://b-metro.com/top-lawyers-2016/26678/

Kirk Drennan Law listed as “The Face of Dedicated Attorneys” in B·Metro

Kirk Drennan Law is pleased to be listed as “The Face of Dedicated Attorneys” in the January issue of B·Metro.

http://b-metro.com/2016faces/25321/