Going through a divorce is a very stressful and trying time for most couples. Dealing with the emotional turmoil a divorce can put on a family while having to sort out payments and bills can add extra unnecessary stress during a split.
While everyone’s situation is different, both spouses should agree on how to divide the bills no matter how amicable the divorce. If this is handled poorly, it can lead to costly litigation and damaging credit scores. Below are tips for handling your bills during a divorce.
Create distance from your spouse and separate your finances
While you’re going through the divorce, set up your own individual bank accounts. Go over your own individual net worth and separate any debt that you know is specifically yours only. Understand your day to day finances and prepare for lawyer and divorce litigation bills.
Consult a lawyer during the divorce process
A lawyer can help mediate and guide you through the division of your joint bills such as your mortgage, car payments or rental agreements.
Determine common bills you are both going to pay during the divorce
It is usually best to maintain joint accounts to pay things such as utilities bills and joint debt. And debt acquired during the divorce will be made joint debt and debts acquired before or after the divorce will be individual debt.
Define, divide and sell joint assets
Make a list of all assets including homes, vehicles and securities. Physical assets being divided are typically sold in order to split the money, although assets such as homes can be awarded to one spouse or the other so that they do not have to sell it. It is best to work with a lawyer when dividing assets fairly.
Understand and be aware of all changes being made
Be aware of your current income and expenses. Keep track of changes in payments after splitting up your bills and check your credit report a few months after you’ve made adjustments to your joint accounts. Be prepared for your household income and credit report to change significantly.
For legal advice on splitting up bills during a divorce, contact DeVoe Law Firm