Going through a divorce can be a stressful, challenging experience for both spouses. But, there is no reason that even a particularly difficult divorce has to leave your financial life in ruins. By keeping in mind a few key considerations, you can give yourself better chances of keeping your finances intact and thus being able to return more quickly to a normal, productive lifestyle.
When some spouses divorce, they attempt to maintain joint credit cards and loans, or continue to commingle their assets. Sometimes this may be done to manage their children’s expenses or a home mortgage from a homestead that has yet to be sold. Regardless of the reason, this is almost always a bad idea.
If you share credit with your former spouse, you will be liable for all the debts he or she incurs under your joint accounts. Additionally, if your former spouse defaults on payments, it can have disastrous consequences for your credit score. Filing for bankruptcy, committing fraud, or becoming disabled can also impact the finances of a credit-sharing ex-partner.
Even when divorces are wrapped up amicably, things can quickly change. Make sure you take steps to establish your own accounts and sever all financial connections that could affect your future liability.
Plan for Change
When agreeing upon a property settlement, proper foresight is essential. If both you and your former spouse cannot live with the terms of your divorce settlement, it is likely you will wind up in court down the line when financial circumstances change.
Include terms for foreseeable contingencies. What if one of you starts making far more (or less) money? How long will alimony or child support payments last? What if unanticipated expenses arise involving the kids? Who gets treasured family items? Addressing these issues during your divorce negotiations will help keep you out of court later.
You should also be prepared for how consequences of the property division will affect your life. For instance, you may not want to deal with the expense (and headache) of trying to maintain the family home on your own.
Finally, when splitting up marital property, take into account tax considerations: two assets that appear to have the same face value could actually be worth vastly different sums due to disparate tax treatment.
Retain a Strong Advocate
When you are getting divorced, it is important to hire an experienced divorce lawyer. Your attorney will advocate for you to secure the most favorable arrangements possible and help ensure your financial wellbeing.