Going through a divorce by all means is not easy. Even coming to the realization that you want a divorce or your partner wants to separate, can all be overwhelming. That’s just the beginning; divorces can get ugly when it comes to dividing all joint obligations. However it needs to be done, so here are some pointers to help solve any problems that may arise.
Cease All Financial Obligations
- You must protect your financial interests in a divorce by ending all joint financial obligations. This includes everything from credit card accounts, mortgages, and jointly held loans. Either refinance the loans or sell the house or car. Sometimes people can work through the divorce and get what they want, but if you both want the same things, just sell them and move on.
- If joint accounts are not yet closed, you are held legally responsible if your ex-spouse decides not to pay off any accounts left unpaid no matter what the divorce decree says. Don’t risk your credit from being destroyed or take the chance of getting kicked out of the credit market completely.
- Don’t forget to consider each of your retirement accounts and stock options, if any.
- Instead of going through the hassle of divorce lawyers, try using divorce mediation, which is a less adversarial process. Divorce mediation involves having the mediator get the two parties together to reach a fair agreement. If you do decide on this option be sure to still have the mediation agreement reviewed by a lawyer.
- If you had any children together, and your ex-spouse is months behind or more in child-support payments, think about using a collection agency. Don’t feel you need to bear the financial burden all alone. If you paid more than one-third of the amount due, you’ve paid too much and need to contact a collection agency to settle the problem.
More on divorce mediation
Its good to hand over the mediators work to a lawyer to make sure everything is legally correct. However, there is a new spin on divorce mediation, which is termed “collaborative divorce.” With this, lawyers are involved from the beginning instead of being brought in afterwards. Its far less expensive than hiring a divorce lawyer to do all the work. Parties only pay about one-tenth and you both agree to make a settlement. It’s basically like a mediation settlement but with lawyers present. This field has grown to be four times larger than it was three years ago so it’s become an association called American Institute of Collaborative Professionals. Although divorce is not generally collaborative it has been effective but it’s not good for everyone, including individuals that were the weaker ones in the relationship and for those who were verbally or physically abused.
When Divorce leads you into Debt
If you thought divorce was going to be the best decision you made and ended up being left with a financial disaster, you aren’t alone. It happens all the time, but its best to get help right away. Above you were given tips, on what to do when going through a divorce but if you have been out of a divorce for some time and are now struggling to get by on one income you should consider your options. Depending on your income, if you are just making ends meet, then you should set yourself up a budget so you can cut out costs you don’t need to be spending things on, or consider looking for a different job that pays more.
If on the other hand, you are in debt and can’t seem to climb out, it’s recommended that you get professional assistance. America has been struggling with debt for far too long, and not taking the necessary steps that need to be taken to get out of debt. There are a vast number of solutions to eliminate debt such as doing it on your own, credit counseling, debt management programs, debt consolidation, or bankruptcy. Find the solution that’s best for you, get out of debt, and stay out which will make your life more enjoyable.
Article by Kelly Kennedy