I'm going to start off with the simple things first before diving into the mortgage and credit cards
Tid bit expenses you will have to discuss with your ex. You will never have everything 50/50 especially when it comes to paying for the child. Small things like going to the doctor or the dentist- two options, either set up a savings account for that child and have $10 go into that account each paycheck and use that money to pay for medical expenses when the child is with you (trust me it helps and seems to happen at the worst times.) You can switch off payment if you schedule a doctors appointment on Wednesday while the child is with you, make sure to schedule the next appointment on Friday when the child will be with the other parent. That's how we do it in our house hold.
When it comes to buying school supplies and back to school clothes, let the other parent know how much your budget is and make a list of the school supplies you can buy. My husband's ex and myself actually shop together for back to school but I know that is uncommon. Normally for us I put up around $65 dollars for school supplies for two children and she puts up the same. The school clothes is slightly different but you can let the other parent know you have a budget of $200. Also a great rule of thumb is to always buy your own shoes for your house! It just makes it easier so add that into your budget.
If you have any pensions you will want to change your beneficiary name to someone else as soon as possible. Let me tell you a short story about my grandparents friend- A husband and wife had been married for about 25 years or so and had 2 lovely children, which are the same age now as my parents. The husband had an affair with a lady who at the time was the same age as the children (around 40) After the wife found out, she ended up filing for a divorce and he remarried this lady and they were married for about 15 years before he passed away. Well, about a year later the original first wife received a phone call from the insurance company and said they wanted to confirm where to send her $1 million dollar pension because he never changed her name as the beneficiary to the new wife. Legally, the money CAN ONLY go to the name on file which was her. Talk about some massive karma. So the moral of the story is to change the name as quickly as possible!
If you have any joint credit cards or join loans that affect both credits between you are your ex spouse you will need to "freeze" these accounts as soon as possible and work out a method on paying them back. Again, this affects the both of you so this one can be tricky because you might be reliable with your finances and agreements but they might not be, or vise versa. You can not say, "well, I'll pay $500 and you pay $500 because collectively your credit is still affected if they do not pay their share, you are still responsible for the total loan of $1000. The best options is to be very realistic on what you can afford each month. Credit loans and credit cards are happier getting "some" form of payment rather than none, although the end result is to pay it off completely. A great option is to switch off months so you might pay the bill January, March, May, July, Sept and November and they will pay the alternate months.
If you have a joint savings account together than you will need to sit down and divide up the funds are best as possible and then close the account. I understand the sound of this is like nails on a chalk board but its inevitable so you might as well rip off the band-aid and get it over with. If you really are having a hard time being fair than you might have to revert to a mediator, but trust me getting more people involved can create long lasting animosity. I am a firm believer in staying out of the court system because you take away your freedom of being a parent and put it into the hands of the state to determine what money you get, what days you will see your child with sometimes extreme conditions. I know realistically some people just can not avoid court but if possible do not go any further than a mediator, again, if possible!
If you have a mortgage with your spouse and you WERE married but your name was NOT on the mortgage, unfortunately you are still responsible for the loan. You know the popular saying, "what's mine is yours." Well that is literally true in situations like this. The best option is to either sell the home so you can get out of the mortgage loan, or if one spouse chooses to occupy the home, have them refinance the mortgage into their name so you are no long liable for the loan. If the spouse is unable to refinance the loan into their name than you will need to sell the home because having them staying in the home with your name on the mortgage can pose a serious threat to your forward momentum and future purchases. Especially if they fail to make payments in a year or two down the road. However if you were not married and only one spouse name was on the mortgage than you are not liable to sustain the mortgage payments.
"A budget is telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went."
Leave a comment below if you have any tips and tricks!!!