Financial Roadmap: Separating

Income

  1. Take stock of your income
    As you begin the process of separating your finances from those of your ex-partner, you will want to take stock of your income. Use this worksheet to create a summary of your income sources. Start with paychecks from employers and then move to income from other sources.
    Map - Life Events - Financial Wellness - University of Colorado
     Download Individual Income Summary Document

Spending

As the change in your relationship impacts your household income and discretionary money, be sure to review your expenses and spending habits in light of this change. In turn, you can develop a budget and plan for reaching your financial goals.

Though it can be tedious, tracking expenditures sheds light on your expenses and spending behavior. Gaining such clarity is particularly important in a time of transition. Further, categorizing your spending provides the details that you need to know what you are doing (or can do) to achieve your financial goals.

  1. Gather your statements.
    Obtain copies of bank and credit card statements for 3 months.
  2. Categorize Your Spending
    Complete a spending chart for the last three months. Then record the average amount spent over that time frame. If the last three months include your ex-partner’s income and expenses, be sure to regularly complete this spending chart as you transition from a two-income to one-income household.
    Map - Life Events - Financial Wellness - University of Colorado
     Download Individual Spending Chart
  3. Review household bills.
    As you separate finances with you ex-partner, you may find that some of your recurring bills are no longer necessary. You may also find that you can reduce certain bills by removing your ex-partner’s share of the bill (e.g., cellphone plan, gym membership, vehicle insurance). Conversely, you may find that the absence of your partner means that additional bills (e.g., childcare) now fall upon you.

    As you review your household bills, make a note of which ones will be eliminated, which can be reduced (e.g., cellphone plan, vehicle insurance, gym membership), which will remain, and which new ones may arise.
    Map - Life Events - Financial Wellness - University of Colorado
     Download Household Bills Chart
  4. Review household spending.
    For each general spending category, add together your expenditures in each category to get an estimate of your monthly spending. Later you can use this as the basis for making a budget for your new household.
    Map - Life Events - Financial Wellness - University of Colorado
     Download Household Spending Chart

Borrowing

Have you reviewed your credit history lately? As you begin to get your “financial house” in order, it is important to take stock of your credit history. Your credit history highlights your past or current borrowing behavior and influences your ability to borrow in the future.

  1. Obtain a copy of your credit report and review it for accuracy.

    The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles you to a free credit report annually from each reporting agency. In order to request your free report(s), visit www.annualcreditreport.com.

    The three credit bureaus from which you can request reports are:

    • Equifax (1-800-525-6285)
    • Experian (1-888-397-3742)
    • TransUnion (1-800-680-7289)

    Here’s what to look for as you review the report:

    • Late payments on accounts
      Were you delinquent in making payments?
    • Debt-to-credit limit ratios
      What is your debt compared to available credit on revolving accounts (e.g., credit cards)?
    • Collection activity
      Has a delinquent payment gone to collections?
    • Bankruptcies, liens or judgments
      Notice if major financial challenges are listed on your credit report.
    • Active accounts
      Are there active accounts that you never closed? Or opened? Verify that accounts that you closed are closed. If there are accounts open that you never opened, contact the credit reporting agency.
    • Inquiries
      Review who has requested your credit file.
  2. Review all of your loan and credit card statements.
    From your current statements, make a list of your outstanding balances, monthly payment amounts, interest rates, and estimated payoff dates for each type of debt/liability that you have you have individually or with your ex-partner.
    Map - Life Events - Financial Wellness - University of Colorado
     Download Separating Household Creditor Inventory

Saving

John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." And sometimes the unexpected happens while you’re busy living life. Setting aside some of your income is a great way to prepare for the unexpected and reward yourself for your hard work. Saving money also allows you to achieve your financial goals. As you take steps to secure and boost your financial health, it is important to review the role of savings in your plans.

  1. Gather your statements.
    Obtain copies of bank statements from your savings accounts.
     
  2. Review individual saving behavior.
    Review your saving behavior. Do you have an established habit of setting money aside in a savings account? Do you only save money on occasion or do you actively seek ways to grow your savings? How much money are you currently saving on a monthly basis? Are you saving money through direct deposit of your paycheck?

Investing

  1. Gather your statements and account information.
    Obtain copies of statements from your investment accounts. If your employment history includes working for several employers, each of which provided you a pension, (401)k, (401)a, or (403)b plan, it is important for you to find out “where your money is” by gathering account information for each plan. If you have shared investments, be sure to gather or share the account information with your ex-partner.
  2. Gather information regarding your current contributions to and/or account balance in your retirement plans. 
    If you are a CU benefits-eligible employee, you can log in to the employee portal and review the "Benefits Summary" and "Retirement Contributions" sections to see your contributions to the 401(a) Plan or PERA.

  3. Review current contributions to your retirement plan, voluntary retirement savings plan, and other investment tools such as a Roth individual retirement account (IRA).
    Are you actively seeking ways to invest monies and prepare for retirement? Is there additional disposable income in your budget that can be allocated for investing?

Insuring

  1. Gather documents and account details for all financial accounts.
    As you and your ex-partner separate finances, it is important to get (or stay) organized! As the change process may make it difficult to concentrate, create a filing system for all of your financial and legal documents. Doing so will help you to stay focused on important financial matters. Gather information on all financial accounts. Ensure that you can access accounts that you have created online.
  2. Gather information regarding coverage and costs of health insurance plans offered by your employer.
    If you are a CU benefits-eligible employee, you can visit the Employee Services' benefits website for more information on the health insurance plans offered by University of Colorado and the related policies and procedures.
  3. Gather names of individuals currently listed as beneficiaries on all financial accounts and life insurance policies.
    Review each financial account and life insurance policy to ensure that you have designated a beneficiary for each. A beneficiary receives certain plan benefits after the owner (you) of such policy dies. By designating an individual(s) as the beneficiary of your retirement plan(s) and life insurance policy (if applicable), you are ensuring that the benefits of these plans are distributed to the person(s) of your choice.
  4. Gather the policy information for renter’s/homeowner’s, car and life insurance.
    Gather and compile information on insurance policies. Review current coverage and consider modifying coverage and/or removing your ex-partner from each policy. (Note: if you are in the process of legally separating from your ex-partner, you may not be able to remove them from your coverage until after the legal documents have been approved by the court.
Life-Events-Roadmaps-Compass

Income

As you take stock of your income, be sure to consider how the transition from a two- to one-income household affects your financial well-being and ability to manage expenses. Begin to consider ways to cut expenses. If necessary, consider ways to grow your income (e.g., work overtime hours; secure a part-time job).

  1. Review Your Taking Stock Results.
    Review your pay stubs and W-4s. Identify sources of income and consider whether they vary (e.g., bonuses; paid overtime) or are constant (salaried wage). Consider the amount and regularity of other sources of income such as child support, pension benefits, Social Security benefits, rental income and business income.
     
  2. Review Changes to Income.
    As you take stock of your new household income, be sure to review changes to jobs or income (e.g. earning a raise, child support, alimony) that you foresee in the near future.
     
  3. Consider Changes to the Taxes Withheld from Your Paychecks.
    Though it is not the most exciting way to spend time, it is a good idea for you to review a W-4 to determine the best strategy for withholdings. Giving up a little time to sort this out now will likely enhance your financial situation at tax time.

    You will want to consider whether you want to try to estimate your tax liability as close as possible and pay that amount during the year or whether you’d like to err on the side of overpayment (to get a refund) or underpayment (to keep more money from each paycheck but possibly have to write a check in April).  Please note: This information is for general reference purposes only.  Only a qualified tax professional can give you tax advice on your situation. 

  4. Start Thinking About Your Tax Filing Status
    If your legal marital status has changed, you will want to consider how the change in your relationship impacts your filing status. Here are a few facts about filing status to consider:

    According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), If you are in the process of dissolving your relationship but still legally married, be sure to note that:
  • Your marital status on the last day of that year determines your marital status for the entire year.
  • A married couple may elect to file their returns separately. Each person’s filing status would be "Married Filing Separately."
  • Single filing status generally applies to anyone who is unmarried, divorced or legally separated according to state law.
  • "Head of Household" generally applies to taxpayers who are unmarried. You must have also paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for you and a qualifying person to qualify for this filing status.
  • Your filing status determines which standard deduction amount and schedule of tax rates are used when calculating your federal income taxes.

Select the filing status that you believe best fits your situation. Please note: This information is for general reference purposes only.  Only a qualified tax professional can give you tax advice on your situation. 

Spending

  1. Consider current spending.
    Review current spending. Look for ways to trim expenses and save money.

  2. Take the Life Values quiz.
    Grow awareness of your financial values and habits by taking the Life Values quiz. Upon completion of the quiz, check out descriptions of each life value.

    Why take the quiz?Growing awareness of your value system and behavior is the first step in building understanding of your spending habits. Over the course of your childhood, you learned values and developed habits in regard to money. You may have learned these explicitly from family members or a class in school or implicitly by listening to conversations or watching the behaviors of family members and friends. No matter how, where, or what you learned, by this stage in life, you have developed your own set of financial values and habits. Thus, in order to better understand yourself and find successful ways to navigate your new financial landscape, it is important that you explore your respective financial values and habits.


  3. Consider how spending will happen going forward.
    If you and your ex-partner have joint checking or savings accounts, you will need to decide how you will manage those accounts as you separate finances. Specifically, you will want to carefully consider the timing for closing the accounts. It will be important to communicate about any pending payments and be mindful of outstanding checks or automatic bill payments. In this way, you can ensure that the closure of the account does not impede payment of pending transactions.

  4. Discuss who will be responsible for bills.
    If there are bills that you will share during or after the uncoupling phase of your relationship, be sure to consider how you will approach and pay for these financial obligations.

  5. Discuss housing costs.
    If you and your ex-partner are both listed on a property lease or own a home together, you are both legally responsible for payment of these costs. In order to ensure that you meet these obligations, you and your ex-partner will want to discuss your approach to making timely payments of your lease or mortgage.

Borrowing

As you and your partner part ways, be sure to discuss how you will work together to pay for shared debt obligations. As you are both responsible for making payments on shared debt, agreeing upon an approach to your shared financial responsibilities is integral to sustaining and securing your financial future.

  1. If you carry debt with your ex-partner, consider important facts about individual and joint credit.

    Things to consider about individual and joint credit.

    • Individual credit is only based on the individual applicant’s credit history, income, and assets. This person alone is responsible for paying the bill.
    • Joint credit is based on the credit history, income, and assets of both individuals who apply for credit.
    • With joint credit, both individuals can make charges on the card and the credit card history is included on both parties’ credit report.
    • With joint credit, both individuals are liable for the credit card payments. If the payments are delinquent, the credit card issuer can hold either cardholder responsible for payment.
    • With joint credit, both individuals are liable for 100% (not 50%) of the bill.
    • With joint credit, both individuals will be responsible for the debt in the event of divorce.
    • You may authorize a user on an individual or joint account. An authorized user is someone who may use the account with your permission. However, you (and the joint account holder, if applicable) are solely responsible for the debt.
    • Joint credit history does not exist. You and your ex-partner do (and will) not have joint credit scores. Even if you are legally married, you still have separate credit histories. However, any debt(s) that you have acquired or applied for jointly will be included in your individual history.  The entire debt (not 50% of it) is included in your history.
  2. If you have joint credit cards with your ex-partner, be sure to consider and discuss the following:
    For joint credit card accounts, you and your ex-partner are responsible for paying the credit card bill. Even if you have a divorce decree that states that each of you will pay half of the amount owed, you and your ex-partner are still liable for the terms outlined in the credit card agreement. This means that if your ex-partner does not pay his/her share, you are still responsible for the debt owed.

    The credit card issuer will likely prevent you from closing the account until the balance is paid in full. Thus, if you aim to pay the balance in full and close the account, you will want to ensure that your ex does not keep making charges on the account. As soon as the account is paid in full, you and your ex-partner can (and should!) close the account.

  3. If you have joint loans with your ex-partner, be sure to consider and discuss the following:
    • For joint loans, as a co-signer or co-borrower, you are responsible for the debt. A divorce decree does not exempt you from making payments or ensure that you and your ex-spouse will comply with the repayment agreement outlined in the decree. Instead, the lending institution centers its attention on the agreement that it made with you and your ex-spouse. Thus, though the relationship has ended, the debt obligation has not.
    • You and your ex-spouse will need to determine how the payments will be made. As both of you are responsible for payments, if one person decides not to pay, it falls on the other to make the payments. If one or both of you fails to pay or if payments are not made in a timely manner, your credit will suffer.
    • Though you cannot remove a name from a loan, you can put the loan in one person’s name by refinancing the loan.  In order to refinance, the person whom will carry the debt will apply for a new loan. This new loan will replace the old one. The application to refinance requires approval from a lender. The applicant will need to meet the lending criteria (income, credit score) in order to get a new loan. If you are co-owners of a house and you are trying to determine who will stay in the house, it is important to consider who is willing and able to refinance and secure an individual loan.
    • You may wish to sell the item (house, vehicle) for which you and your ex-partner borrowed the money. In this way, you can pay off the debt and start the next chapter of your life without lingering ties to shared debt obligations.
  4. Consider closing any existing lines of credit.
  5. Brainstorm goals for managing debt.
    Discuss goals for managing and paying off joint debt. Consider ways to increase amount of payments made on monthly obligations. Brainstorm goals for managing your individual debt.

Saving

  1. Consider opening an individual savings account.
    If you do not have a savings account, consider opening an individual account.
     
  2. Consider including your savings account in direct deposit of your paycheck.
    Review your monthly budget to determine how much money you will deposit into savings accounts each month. Consider adding the savings account to the direct deposit of your paycheck. In this way, saving becomes an automatic part of your financial behavior.
     
  3. Consider saving for an emergency.
    Developing an emergency savings fund is an important component of building a solid financial foundation. Having money set aside for emergencies will allow you to navigate unexpected situations such as vehicle repairs, pet health care, or a broken water heater with greater peace of mind and minimal impact on other areas (e.g. credit cards, retirement accounts) of your financial foundation.

    It is important that you consider how much money you will set aside for emergency savings. This decision is unique to every individual. However, in the event of a lost job or layoff, it is a good idea to save sufficient money to live without that income for 3-6 months.

    For guidance in determining how much money you will need to set aside for an emergency fund, review the Emergency Fund Worksheet from smartaboutmoney.org.
     
  4. Consider opening a savings account dedicated solely to emergency savings. 

Investing

  1. Discuss joint investments. 
    If you and your ex-partner have joint investments, be sure to discuss and develop a plan for handling these accounts.
  2. Consider consolidating your investment monies from retirement plans from past employers.
    Consider the option of “rolling over” the monies into one account. 
  3. Consider additional retirement savings plan options.
    Review your budget and financial goals to determine the feasibility of saving more for retirement. The University of Colorado has three voluntary savings plans available to most employees. The voluntary savings plans are defined contribution plans of an individual account, which you create to set aside money on a pre-tax basis through a salary reduction agreement with the university. Your benefits are based on the contributions credited to these accounts, plus or minus investment gains or losses. Visit the Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan webpage for more information.  
  4. Consider scheduling a 1:1 meeting with a financial professional to discuss your financial and investment questions.
    Consider meeting with a financial professional to review your financial goals, budget, current investment allocations, and plan for retirement. CU employees can take advantage off one-on-one consultations with financial professionals on each of its campuses. Visit the Personal Financial Consultations section of the website for more information. 

Insuring

  1. Consider where and how you will safeguard sensitive financial documents and account information.
    Staying organized and maintaining the security of sensitive financial information minimizes the threat of identity theft. Further, storing important documents in a secure, single location ensures that all important information will be intact and accessible should an emergency arise.
  2. If you were insured by your ex-partner’s health insurance plan and are a CU benefits-eligible employee, consider the costs of and coverage offered by each health insurance plan available to you through University of Colorado.
    Compare costs and coverage of each health insurance plan. Determine which plan best fits your health needs and budget. Visit the Employee Services' benefits website for more information on the benefits that may be available to you when you lose coverage from your ex-partner.
  3. If your ex-partner was covered under your CU medical, dental, or vision plans, discuss updating your benefits plan.
    Talk with your ex-partner about removing him/her from your insurance plan(s). Discuss the time frame for updating your plan so that s/he has an opportunity to plan accordingly. (Note: if you are in the process of legally separating from your ex-partner, you may not be able to remove them from your coverage until after the legal documents have been approved by the court.)
  4. Consider the individuals currently listed as beneficiaries on all financial accounts and life insurance policies.
    Consider whether the names of beneficiaries on accounts and policies need to be changed or updated. 

    Please note that some retirement plans require that the partner be named the beneficiary unless he/she signs a written waiver consenting to the choice of another beneficiary. As you decide beneficiaries, please note that in some cases there are tax implications for the beneficiary. Check with your financial provider or plan administrator for details.

  5. Discuss current coverage for renter’s/homeowner’s, car, and life insurance.
    Consider the current coverage for each insurance policy. Now that you are separating household items, you may want to decrease the coverage of renter’s or homeowner’s policy. If you and your ex-partner were listed on the same car insurance policy, you will want to update the drivers and coverage on your policy.  In addition, be sure to consider whether life insurance coverage is appropriate for you.
     
  6. Consider who will make decisions on your behalf in the event of a medical emergency.
    In the event that you cannot make financial or medical decisions due to an incapacitating illness or medical emergency, you will be at the mercy of the court to appoint a guardian to oversee your financial and medical matters unless you have designated someone as a living power of attorney.  A living power attorney safeguards you against the aforementioned risk by allowing you to select and authorize someone to act on your behalf for financial and medical matters in the event that you are incapacitated. You will want to consider the possibility of securing a durable power of attorney in order to protect yourselves in such circumstances.

Life-Events-Roadmaps-Hiker

Income

  1. Determine changes to your W-4s.
    Pull out the copies of your current W-4s you obtained from your employers (you did this in the Taking Stock section).  Then print blank W-4s to work through at home:

    Follow the instructions to complete a “practice” W-4.
    For additional support in determining the number of withholding allowances, you may want to check out the Withholding Calculator offered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Please note: This information is for general reference purposes only.  Only a qualified tax professional can give you tax advice on your situation.
    • You can claim one allowance for yourself.
    • If you have children, you can add one allowance for each dependent. If your income is less than a certain threshold and you are eligible for a Child Tax Credit, you may take additional allowances for dependents.
    • ​If you plan to itemize or claim adjustments to your income, be sure to follow the guidance on the “Deductions and Adjustments Worksheet” on page 2 of the W-4.
  2. Contact your employer to update your W-4.
    Contact your employer directly for instructions on how to update your W-4 form.

Spending

Now that you have reviewed your income and expenses, you are ready to develop a financial plan. As you do, remember that, no matter which way you look at it, you WILL spend money.  It is not realistic to develop a financial plan that does not account for this truth. For developing and executing a successful financial plan is an important, ongoing exercise that does not address IF you will spend, but rather ON WHAT and WHEN you and spend money.

  1. Eliminate or reduce bills.
    Consider which bills can be eliminated or reduced. Contact service providers (e.g. cell phone company, fitness center) to update account and usage.
  2. Write spending goals.
    It is important to write down your financial goals. Get a pen and some paper and be sure to make your goals SMART!

    What are SMART goals?

    They are:
    • Specific: I will pay off my credit card in two months by paying X dollars this month and Y dollars next month.
    • Measurable: I will pay an additional $50/payment on my student loan bill for the next 6 months.
    • Attainable/Achievable: I will save $10/week. (I will forego two coffees/week at Starbucks and instead place $10 in my savings jar.)
    • Realistic: I will work on paying off my auto loan ahead of schedule by including an additional $50 on my monthly payment.
    • Time-Bound and Trackable: We will save $2,000 for a vacation by saving $200/month for the next 10 months.

    As you develop your SMART goals, remember to think of them of them in regard to the time frame in which you plan to achieve them.

    Short-Term Goals: Achievable in fewer than 3 months

    Medium-Term Goals: Achievable from 3 months to 3 years

    Long-Term Goals: Require 3 or more years to achieve

    If you need a little boost with outlining your goals, be sure to check out the Ten Basic Steps Worksheet from smartaboutmoney.org.
  3. Make a new budget.
    Implementing a budget is an integral part of managing spending decisions and behavior. Determine how much of your income will be allocated to household expenses, saving, investing for retirement, entertainment, and incidentals.  In order to advance your spending goals, be sure to find and “plug” the leaks in your spending pipeline. Use the Plug Spending Leaks Worksheet to guide your review of potential “leaks” in your spending. 

    Monitoring where your money goes is an excellent way to determine how you are spending your money and whether or not these expenditures support your financial goals. Use the Spending Diary and the Tracking Your Expenses worksheets to guide you as you track your spending.

  4. Contact financial institutions to update and/or close accounts.
    If you and your ex-partner have joint checking or savings accounts, you will need to take steps to update, manage, and/or close those accounts. For joint bank accounts, you or your ex-partner can go to the bank and inform a bank employee that you would like to close the account. The bank employee will request identification and likely ask you to complete paperwork to close the account. Upon completion of the paperwork, you will be given a check for the amount of the balance left in the account. You will be asked to inform the other that the account has been closed.

  5. If all or part of your paycheck is being directly deposited into a joint account, update direct deposit information to reflect new routing information and/or deposit amounts.
    Visit the employee portal to update your direct deposit information.

Borrowing

  1. Contact creditors to update account information (if applicable).
     
  2. Pay off credit accounts and close them (if applicable).
  3. Write down SMART goals to manage existing debt.
    Develop a plan for paying off individual and shared debt obligations. You may wish to prioritize debt obligations by those that you shared with your partner and/or by the amount owed. Regardless of the approach, it is important to develop a strategy for handling debt obligations.

Saving

  1. Open an individual savings account (if applicable).
    Select the financial institution with which you would like to bank. Go to the financial institution with personal identification and a check or cash to make the initial deposit.
  2. Add your savings account(s) to the list of accounts for direct deposit of your paycheck.
    Determine how much of your paycheck will be allocated to your savings account(s). CU employees can update direct deposit information by visiting the “Payroll and Compensation” section in the employee portal.
  3. Establish an emergency savings fund.
    Allocate a certain amount of your income to emergency savings. The key to growing your emergency savings funds is to start saving now. If the targeted savings amount seems daunting, focus on starting small. It is important to remember that the emphasis in not on saving large sums of money on a regular basis, but rather that you develop the habit of setting aside a manageable percentage of your income on a regular basis.
  4. Open a savings account dedicated solely to emergency savings (if applicable). 

Investing

  1. Update account information.
    If you move, have new contact or beneficiary information, or have an updated marital status, be sure to update your personal information on your account.
  2. Schedule a 1:1 meeting with a financial professional to discuss your financial and investment questions.
    To learn more about the services available to CU employees, please visit the Personal Financial Consultations page.
  3. Contact the investment plan vendor with which you will roll over funds into on account (if applicable).
    If you decide to roll over funds held in plans from previous employers, collect account information for each plan and contact with vendor with which you will be working.
  4. Enroll in an additional voluntary retirement savings plan or increase your contributions (if applicable).
    CU employees can visit Employee Services' voluntary retirement savings plans Web page for more information.

Insuring

  1. Store sensitive financial documents and account information in a safe place.
    Store documents in a fire resistance, locked security box at home. You can also consider storing items such as valuable jewelry, property deeds, birth certificates, foreign currency, stock or bond certificates, collectibles, and family heirlooms in a bank safe-deposit box. It is important to note that cash kept in a safe-deposit box is not insured under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Thus, if you use a safe-deposit box, be sure to limit its use to storage of valuable possessions and documents. In addition, please note that a power of authority loses authority to act upon your behalf upon your death. Should you die, the only individuals who can access the safe-deposit box are those listed on the signature card for the box rental at the bank. Be sure to keep this in mind should you decide to use a safe-deposit box. In addition, given the limited access to a safe-deposit box, you may wish to store your will at home. If you and your ex-partner stored items in a safe- deposit box, be sure to collaboratively close the account.
     
  2. Protect your identity.
    Be on the lookout for financial scams and protect your identity by regularly reviewing your credit report. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to request a free report. If you find unauthorized charges on your credit report, contact each credit reporting agency. 

    The three credit bureaus are:

    • Equifax (1-800-525-6285)
    • Experian (1-888-397-3742)
    • TransUnion (1-800-680-7289)

    Inform each agency that you believe that you are a victim of identity theft and ask the agency to put a fraud alert on your file. In addition, request that the credit reporting companies not include the disputed information on your credit report. In addition, create an identity theft affidavit at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)'s website.

    The fraud alert stays active on your credit report for 90 days. If necessary, you can renew the alert after 90 days. In addition to placing the filing the fraud alert, be sure to maintain copies of communication (letters or emails) sent or received regarding the matter. Record dates that you make telephone calls and keep clear, updated records regarding actions taken to resolve the matter.

    Upon completion of the FTC identity theft affidavit, file a police report. In turn, you may use these documents to restore your credit by stopping a business from collecting debts that resulted from identity theft and requesting the removal of fraudulent information from your credit report.

  3. Update your health insurance coverage. Enroll in the benefits plans or remove your ex-partner from your coverage.
    CU benefits-eligible employees who lose coverage through an ex-partner may be eligible to enroll in one of CU's plans. If you would like to remove your ex-partner from your plan(s), be sure to visit the Employee Services benefits website for relevant policies and procedures. (Note: if you are in the process of legally separating from your ex-partner, you may not be able to remove them from your coverage until after the legal documents have been approved by the court.)
  4. Update beneficiaries as applicable.

    For the 401(a) Plan

    Contact TIAA directly. You can access the TIAA website at www.tiaa.org/cu to manage your account, or you can call a representative at 1-800-842-2252.

    For the 403(b) Plan

    Contact TIAA directly. You can access the TIAA website at www.tiaa.org/cu to manage your account, or you can call a representative at 1-800-842-2252.

    For the 401k and 457 plans sponsored by the Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA):

    Contact PERA.
  5. Update coverage for renter’s/homeowner's, car and life insurance.
    Consider the current coverage for each insurance policy. Now that you are separating household items, contact insurance carriers to update the coverage of renter’s or homeowner’s policy. If you and your ex-partner were listed on the same car insurance policy, you will want to update the drivers and coverage on your policy. (Note: if you are in the process of legally separating from your ex-partner, you may not be able to remove them from your coverage until after the legal documents have been approved by the court.) In addition, be sure to consider whether life insurance coverage is appropriate for you. 
  6. Secure a durable power of attorney.
    Secure a durable power of attorney to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf should you be incapacitated and unable to do so.

Disclaimer: No communication is intended to be, or shall be construed as, the rendering of any legal or professional advice whatsoever. Any such advice or direction is disclaimed. Further, any information contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or tax-related matter addressed herein.