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Debt and Divorce: What You Need to Know



Debt

As we are in peak spending season for the Holidays, one crucial factor that often gets overlooked amidst the emotional turmoil is the division of debts and divorce. We are deeply diving into understanding this issue's complexity, which usually gets emotionally charged.


Let’s go:


Understand Your Debts:

Before initiating the divorce process, it is vital to have a clear understanding of your debts. Gather all the necessary financial documents, including loan statements, credit card bills, and any other debts you may have incurred. This comprehensive overview will help ensure all debts are accounted for and accurately divided or allocated.


Types of Debts:

When it comes to dividing debts during divorce, it is essential to differentiate between two types of debts:


1. Marital Debts: These are debts accumulated during the marriage for joint expenses, such as mortgages, car loans, and credit cards used for household purchases. In most cases, marital debts are considered joint liabilities and are subject to division during divorce proceedings.

2. Separate Debts: These are debts incurred by either spouse before the marriage or after the separation. Separate debts typically remain the responsibility of the spouse who incurred them, although exceptions may occur depending on state laws and circumstances.


Creating a Debt Repayment Plan


To address the division of debts, you have several options:


1. Paying Off Debts Jointly: If circumstances permit, you and your spouse may pay off the joint debts before finalizing the divorce. This approach helps ensure a clean financial slate for both parties and minimizes conflicts regarding ongoing debt management.


2. Transferring Debts: In some cases, spouses may agree to transfer debts to someone more financially capable or better positioned to manage the debt. It's essential to consult with a divorce attorney or financial advisor to evaluate the long-term financial implications before making any decisions.


3. Selling Assets: Selling joint assets, such as a home or a car, can help generate funds to pay off joint debts. After settling the debts, the remaining proceeds can be divided per the divorce agreement.


4. Seeking Professional Help: In complex cases involving multiple debts and significant financial assets, it may be beneficial to engage the services of professionals, such as divorce mediators, financial advisors, or even forensic accountants. These experts can help assess the financial situation objectively and provide guidance on debt division.


Protecting Yourself

Taking proactive steps to protect yourself during the divorce process is crucial. Consider the following:


1. Cancel Joint Credit Cards: Closing joint credit cards or converting them to individual accounts can help prevent additional debt from being accrued and ensure that each spouse remains responsible for their expenses.


2. Monitor Your Credit Score: Monitor your credit report regularly to ensure that only additional debts are incurred in your name with your knowledge. Identity theft and fraudulent activities are not uncommon during the divorce process.


3. Modify Joint Loans: If possible, modify existing joint loans, such as mortgages or car loans, by refinancing in one person's name. This can alleviate the burden of sharing a debt with an ex-spouse.


Handling debt during a divorce can be a complex and emotionally charged process. As you understand the different types of debts, create a repayment plan, and take steps to protect yourself, you can navigate the complexities of debt during divorce and work towards securing your financial future.


There are several apps out there that can also help you create a budget for financial success.


Remember, all this is hard but can be a temporary stressor. Take it day by day.


Erin


Time to Dish:

  • Do you know what time of debt you have?

  • Do you have joint accounts?

  • Have you created a new account?

  • Do you know the numbers for all your accounts?

  • Have you created a budget for now? If not, you should; this will help you re-establish your finances once your divorce ends.



 

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