The end of a marriage is not something that any person takes lightly, and there are many ways your life will change afterwards. As a person considering filing for divorce, you must carefully consider the impact this life change is going to have on your finances. Debt can easily spiral out of control if you aren't prepared for the monetary changes in your life. There are two things you can do to make sure debt does not consume you after the divorce is final.
Pay Off As Much Debt As Possible Before Filing For Divorce
Paying off as much debt as possible before the divorce is finalized means you will have less debt responsibility on your shoulders. Since you will be a one-income household, and this income may not be large if you have not worked outside the family home for a while, the less debt you have, the better off you will be.
Additionally, if there is carryover debt in joint names after the divorce, you are still responsible for the amount owed if your name is on the contract. While your spouse may be directed to pay off the debt under the terms of the divorce settlement, the collectors will also come after you if they miss a payment.
Before you file for divorce, take the time to print out current bank statements for both any joint bank accounts. You can use these as evidence if you notice sums of money suddenly missing after you tell your spouse that you are filing for divorce.
Once the divorce proceedings begin, take the time to remove your name from the bank account, or have it closed down if the bank will not allow this. As long as your name remains on the joint accounts, you are responsible for any debt your spouse incurs in joint names. This includes your spouse increasing the size of the mortgage on the family home.
Be sure to do your part to make any changes to accounts as dictated by the divorce decree. For example, if you retain possession of the family home and you are ordered to be solely responsible for the electric account, contact your electricity provider and have your spouse's name removed from the system.
If you have concerns about how accumulated debt is going to impact your life after the divorce, talk to your divorce lawyer about other things you can do to lessen this impact. Their advice will make sure you are financially protected as you move into this next stage of your life.Share