Divorce is a time of crucial changes in your life. Along with personal life and routine changes, you will also have a completely different financial situation after you end up your marriage. It is vital to care about your financial stability and safety to be able to start a new life afterwards.
All assets and debts should be enlisted, discussed, priced and divided between former partners according to local legislation and a set of agreed-upon principles. Either filing for divorce online or litigating in a family court, you’d better get a good specialist to help you deal with your financial issues during or better before the divorce. You have to put some decent efforts and money into it unless you want to be ripped off by your ex or left off to pay the debts you shouldn't have to.
Make a List for the Beginning
When you decide to apply for a divorce you should hand in information about your assets and debts. So, the first step to organize it is to make a list of all that you own and owe. While making lists, you have to pint out what belongs to you only and what is your joint property or debt.
- List of assets - list of assets should include all your individual and mutual possessions with pricing of every item, including bank accounts, credit cards, real estate (marital home, vacation home, land, etc.), vehicles (cars, boats, trailers, etc.), investments (retirement funds, bonds, stocks, etc.), your company and its property (if you have some), valuable belongings (jewellery, antique items, paintings, etc.)
- List of debts - list of debts should include all your individual and mutual possessions with the pricing of every item, including credit card bills, personal, car, home, equity, education or any other loans, medical bills.
It is recommended to have your lawyer assist you in creating both lists so that you can do everything in a proper way, avoiding mistakes that may prolong the process. After you are ready with the lists, you should hand the copies to your partner, so that he/she can study them and you may have a discussion on different points afterwards, such as pricing or distinguishing between personal and mutual possessions.
The primary thing to remember when making lists and discussing debts is that you have to be completely fair and not hide either possessions or debts since sooner or later your fraud will be discovered and the punishment may be really serious.
Different Rules in Different States
Making plans and predictions on debts and assets division, you should be clearly aware of local legislation as to this question. Or you can always ask your divorce attorney to give you the appropriate consultation. Basically, you may experience two scenarios when dividing your debts or possessions:
- In states where the principle of community property rules, your debts, and possessions are expected to be divided equally between former partners. It isn’t taken into consideration who incurred the debt or who put more money into some valuable belongings. All your property and debts are considered to be your mutual and it should be divided 50/50 therefore, even if one side had no idea of existing of the debt or possession of the other side at all.
- In equitable distribution states, all the details are taken into consideration within the division. So, the responsibility to pay out the debt will be laid on a person whose name is on the debt. The same goes with property. The partner who put more in some certain possession will have privileges on it.
- Marital house is out of the division in case of divorce. Both ex-spouses are assigned to stay there. Obviously, they don’t have such a desire, so they can sell the house and divide the profits according to community property or equitable distribution principle. Or one partner can buy out another one according to the same rules.
As you see the knowledge of local legislation will help you prepare yourself physically and mentally for possible outcomes of the division, so, care to have the best lawyer to lead you through this.
Keep Your Financial Safety
Being fair and honest while completing divorce documents and preparing for the divorce doesn’t predetermine your ex-to-be act the same way. You can easily be cheated and ripped off by the person you used to trust the most or the system may simply work against you. Due to this, you should know about the possible threats upcoming with the divorce division and do your best to protect yourself.
Credit names - when your debts are divided and your ex-spouse is supposed to pay the debt that was assigned on your name, which is stated in a divorce agreement, you still may go through serious hurdles. Credit companies and banks usually don’t take into account the divorce agreements. So if there is a delay with a payment they will be after you since it is your name they have in divorce court forms. The same goes for your ex’s refusal to pay.