If you are preparing for a divorce, your focus is likely being pulled in many different directions. This is perfectly normal, but it can also be overwhelming. And among the myriad of concerns with which you are contending, property division may be the most complex.
While your sights may be set on your property and assets that are eligible for division, there is one critical thing you do not want to overlook; your shared debts. You see, if you and your soon-to-be ex hold joint debts, then you are both responsible for their payment. Even if your ex bought a sports car or maxed out the credit card without your approval, you can still be on the hook.
So what can you do to avoid starting your new life in a financial hole? Well, the first thing you need to do is get a full credit report. The report will contain information about all of your joint accounts and potential issues. You may even discover accounts that you had not been made aware of.
You also need to make sure that all joint debts are paid off or accounted for prior to accepting a settlement. You will then want to close all your joint accounts and open new accounts in your name. This is critical, because as we said, if you don’t extricate yourself from those accounts prior to finalizing the divorce, you will be legally obligated to pay the debts.
Accounting for debt is an important part of the property division and settlement process. And in order to make sure that every aspect of your financial situation is properly accounted for, you may want to secure the services of an experienced property division attorney. The attorney can help make sure your settlement is fair and that you don’t have any unpleasant surprises, such as unexpected debts, as you move forward in your life.