Even when spouses work together during the divorce process, an amicable experience can quickly go south despite the best intentions of both parties.
Regardless of whether you get along with your soon-to-be-ex partner, it’s essential that you take steps early on to protect your financial well-being.
Taking action helps create peace of mind
Divorce is the end of a relationship, and while your former spouse may be out of the picture, financial ties can linger for a long time. Take these steps to forge a new path:
- Get a credit report: You can contact the three main credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, or order a free copy of each report online.
- Document your creditors: Make a list of all secured and unsecured lenders for every debt attached to your name, such as a mortgage, car loan, credit cards, etc.
- Separate accounts: Determine which accounts belong to you and your spouse, and those solely in your name.
- Terminate joint accounts: Contact all creditors for joint accounts and ask them to remove your name. If they refuse, pay off the balance, if possible, and close the account.
- Sell or refinance secured assets: If your name remains on a personal loan, such as for a vehicle, you are still responsible for payments, even if you don’t keep the car.
Dealing with a family home during divorce
One of the largest debts any of us will ever have is a house, and it’s vital to your financial future to properly assign the responsibility for a mortgage going forward. There are usually three options:
- Both parties remain co-owners of the property
- One spouse refinances the loan in their name only and pays the other an agreed-upon sum
- Both spouses agree to sell the house and split the proceeds
Act to secure your future well-being
While the effects of divorce can create an uncomfortable environment for everyone involved and, in many cases, be devastating, those effects will go away. However, failing to protect your financial well-being can have consequences for years to come. An experienced family law attorney here in North Carolina can guide you through the process and help you take steps now to protect your future.