Life after divorce in Hong Kong, or anywhere for that matter, is not easy to survive – emotionally and financially. South China Morning Post reported that the divorce rate in Hong Kong shot up to 23,255 in 2012 from 2,062 in 1981. The primary concern during divorce is the children – and it is rightfully so because they are the ones who will be affected negatively. Divorce can also hurt you financially, as mentioned earlier. This is why you need financial tips that will help you get through it.

Financial Advice For Life After Divorce In Hong Kong

 

Immediate financial tasks after divorce

Financial tips may be far from your mind while you are going through a divorce. There are so many things to do, documents to produce and statements to make. You are fighting for what you believe should end up as yours. In essence, apart from the custody of the children, the divorce proceeding is actually a battle for your financial rights. You are going to discuss how much of your acquired assets and finances will be given to you.

While there are divorce proceedings that go smoothly and without a fight, there are those that end up being too ugly and destructive. If you happen to go through the latter, it will take more work for you to put your finances in order.

Here are a few tips that you need to follow right after the divorce.

  • Cancel all joint accounts. If you opened a joint savings account or you got a joint credit card, you need to cancel them. Having one account with your ex-spouse is dangerous especially if the other party has ill feelings towards you. They might spend a lot on the credit card so they can ruin your credit history. So make sure you severe all ties with them.
  • Put anything valuable in a new safety box. Anything that you get after the divorce proceedings that is of value should be placed in a new safety box that your ex-spouse does not know about. These can be jewellery or other important documents.
  • Take account of your financial position after the divorce. Know the assets that were given to you by the court. You need to know your financial value. This will help you know how much you have – if it is enough to live by or not.
  • File all the documents that prove you solely own whatever you used to own together. This is to avoid confusion with your ex-spouse.
  • Get in touch with your creditors, lenders, and service providers to cancel or inform them that you or your spouse (whatever the court decided) will be paying the bills alone. You are no longer liable for the financial responsibilities and debts of your ex-spouse.
  • For taxes filed jointly, make sure you collect the tax returns accordingly.

These are the financial tasks that you need to do immediately after divorce. If you do not act on them immediately, you might regret it.

 

How to plan your finances after divorce

There is more financial advice that you need to follow after your divorce. Those mentioned above are all tasks that will help secure your finances and protect them from your ex-spouse. The following tips will help you plan your next financial steps. After all, your financial success will now be your responsibility.

Here are some things that you need to do.

  • Analyse your lifestyle. See if your income can support the lifestyle that you used to have. If not, then you need to make changes. You should either boost your income or reduce your expenses.
  • Create a budget plan. This will help you identify which areas in your life will be put on hold and which expenses will be retained. This is the plan that will help you decide how your income can cover the expenses that you owe.
  • List your expenses. If your income cannot support your lifestyle, then you need to create a new spending list. Make sure this is lower than your income.
  • Know your debt obligations. This is to keep you from forgetting them. If you cannot make the payments, you may want to negotiate with your creditors and lenders. Negotiate a new payment plan that you can afford and will satisfy the payment expectations of the creditor or lender.
  • Check the benefits that you can make use of. As long as the marriage is legally dissolved or annulled and recognized by the government of Hong Kong, divorcees can file to obtain financial relief. Take note that this will not apply to you if you remarry. If your children are in your custody, your ex-spouse should give you child support. This money can come in handy for your family.
  • Revise your will and your beneficiaries. This will ensure that your children will be the sole beneficiaries if anything happens to you.

Keep these financial tips in mind so you can protect your money as you embark on a new chapter in life.

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Abigail Wong is the Writer of The New Savvy. She is a Singapore Management University 2nd year undergraduate specialising in Strategic Management. From Tampa, Florida, she possesses an International Baccalaureate diploma from C. Leon King High School, and previously held the position of Treasurer of the King High School Division of the French National Honour Society and the Science National Honour Society. Abigail is currently acting as President of the French Cultural Club for SMU International Connections, and as a Resident Advisor and Fire Warden for the SMU Residences at Prinsep. Abigail is a Former Florida Science Olympiad Champion in chemical forensics and protein modelling, and former Health Occupation Student’s Association District Champion in clinical nursing. In her free time, Abigail enjoys interacting and caring for animals. She has previously volunteered for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay as an Adoption Assistant.
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