When you said "I do," you probably envisioned a life of love and prosperity, but life can present some rude awakenings at times. If you are dealing with the stress that comes with debt at the same time as your divorce, there are a number of things that you can do to protect yourself and build your financial future during this part of your life.
Assess the Laws of Your State
If you live in a community-property state, you may be legally responsible for any debt that your former partner acquired during the marriage. That even includes credit and loans that were acquired without your knowledge. If in doubt, speak to your divorce lawyer about the laws that apply in your situation. You need to know what you are facing so you can prepare for the most effective fight.
Make Copies of Everything
Be sure that you make copies of all the known financial statements when you are ready to divorce. You may wish to do this before you even separate or file for divorce. It's important to be able to accurately assess the financial situation that you are in as a couple before you go your separate ways. This is especially important if you feel that your spouse may not play fair and may try to siphon funds out of joint accounts. You also need to make copies of statements of debt. Access credit-card accounts, checking accounts, savings accounts, and loan accounts. Make copies of statements for all. Store these copies online and offline. Also give copies to your divorce lawyer.
Take Control of Things in Your Favor
While you are likely going to be required to split the debt that was accrued in your marriage, it's important to make this work for your financial future as much as possible. For example, if your capital losses that you encounter are greater than the gains in a tax year, you may be able to carry over that financial loss for another year. What will happen depends on your unique situation, but that can result in significant savings.
Finally, keep in mind that you will be starting over financially after a divorce, so it's important to build a new foundation of what positive finances you can salvage from the divorce. You may take both debt and savings from the divorce, and that's okay. If in doubt, ask your attorney for advice on the best ways to move forward in the aftermath of your divorce. There is a way to rebuild and create a healthy financial future no matter how much debt plagued you in your former relationship.
Contact a lawyer such as Cassanda T. Savoy, Attorney at Law for help and to get started with your financial future.