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Don't overlook your debts in your divorce settlement

When a couple chooses to divorce, they often do not realize initially just how far-reaching the process is, and how dangerous to each spouse's future a poorly executed divorce can be. Unlike marriage, which is a relatively simple procedure, divorce is innately much more complex. Once two people marry, they jointly own many of each other's assets and debts, requiring a detailed agreement over how they will divide this property in order to successfully finalize a divorce.

Debt is often overlooked or poorly addressed in divorce, and can lead to serious issues down the road, well after each party would surely prefer to be free and clear of each other, legally speaking. However, if a couple does not completely address their debt, they may suffer frustrating consequences later on.

Creditors are not concerned about which party takes a particular debt in a divorce settlement if both spouse's names remain on the account. It is crucial to make sure that each party fully separates their debts and removes their names from any and all lines of credit or loans that may come back to haunt them later on. Too many couples fail to fully address this issue, only to find their credit scores tanked by a former spouse's financial choices after the divorce is long over.

Don't be afraid to seek out the legal counsel you need to navigate your divorce fairly. These matters can complicate many areas of each spouse's lives, and may needlessly extend a process that can prove simple and straightforward with professional guidance from an experienced divorce attorney.

Source: The Balance, "A Guide to the Most Common Financial Issues of Divorce," Deborah Fowles, accessed Jan. 12, 2018

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