When it comes to
divorce, there’s much to consider and there’s a lot to worry about.
In our experience, divorcing couples are most concerned about
child custody (where applicable) and
property division – you can probably relate. Many divorce lawyers believe that if
severing financial ties were easier, unhappy spouses probably wouldn’t
delay a much-needed divorce as often as they do.
If you’re getting a divorce and you’re concerned about your
finances, join the club. Money is a very sensitive subject and spouses
don’t have any desire to end up bankrupt, penniless, or with their
credit ruined following a divorce. If you’re nervous about your
financial future, you have plenty of company. Divorce horror stories aside, it is
possible to protect your assets and your credit during a divorce; however, you’ll
need a good attorney to advise you along the way.
Without going into too much detail, we’re going to provide a brief
overview of finances during a divorce. Here is a list of issues you need
to take into consideration, as well as some advice on how you can protect
your finances during the divorce process.
1. Get out of the dark about your finances.
How much do you know about finances in your marriage? If your spouse has
been paying the bills and handling all of the money, it’s time to
get out of the dark. You need to know about all financial accounts, and
you need to know their passwords and balances.
2. Run two credit reports asap.
As soon as possible, run a copy of your credit report and a copy of your
spouse’s if he or she will let you. Scan over the credit reports
carefully to be sure you know exactly what you both owe and to whom. Also,
pay attention to separate and joint accounts.
3. Take action on joint accounts.
When you get a divorce, it’s best not to have any joint accounts
by the time the divorce is over. If you and your spouse are on credit
cards, auto loans and the mortgage together, this is not an ideal situation.
We recommend paying off all joint debts (if possible), closing the joint
accounts or moving them into one spouse’s name alone.
If you stay on a joint account after the divorce, you are RESPONSIBLE for
that debt, regardless of what the divorce decree says. For example, if
your spouse agrees to pay on their auto loan and your name is still on
it after the divorce, and your spouse loses their job and falls behind,
the creditor will go after you for payment. Ideally, you want to end the
marriage with a clean slate and with zero joint debt.
4. Consider selling the marital home.
If you’re emotionally tied to the marital home, don’t let your
emotions get the best of you. Depending on the value of the property,
how much you owe, and your ability to finance it in your name alone, it
may be best to sell the property and split the proceeds with your husband
or wife. Too often spouses treat the house as a “prize possession”
but it makes no sense to keep the house, especially when they become house poor.
5. Create a post-divorce budget today.
It’s important to create a post-divorce budget asap. The decisions
you make today can affect your financial health as a single person. For
example, if you’ve been a stay-at-home parent, you may need to go
back to work. It’s better to get the ball rolling rather than wait
and see what happens. If you’re the higher-earning spouse and expect to pay
child support, you may need to find ways to increase your income. Perhaps it’s
time to apply for that promotion or start that side gig you’ve been
If you’re looking for a Las Vegas divorce lawyer, don’t hesitate
Leavitt Law Firm to schedule a consultation. We’d be glad to answer your financial
questions to help put your mind at ease.
Call (702) 996-6052 to get started!