No one embarks on marriage with divorce in mind, but the reality is that more than half of all marriage will fail. For some, divorce is amicable while others go through years of messy heartache and pain. What to do financially following a divorce may leave a few questions unanswered.
Divorce and Personal Finances
Open Your Own, Separate, Accounts
When you separate, especially in preparation for a divorce, it is important that you have access to your own money. Open your own, separate, bank account and start managing your money. Make sure you understand how to take care of basics like paying bills. I’m not trying to be patronizing here, but it’s a new reality for some!
Continue to Fulfill Joint Financial Responsibility
Know when they’re due and how they get paid. Do not-under any circumstance-start falling behind on joint financial responsibility because of your divorce. Divorce is a common time for credit scores to get effected due to late bills and missed payments. While I respect that it is an emotionally troublesome time, now is not the time to fall behind. You will still need to communicate with your ex about how bills will get divided until the divorce is finalized. Skipping out on joint payments will hinder both of you.
Get Your Credit Score
Now is the perfect time to request a copy of your credit score and make sure everything is how it should be. Get anything that isn’t correct taken care of, and monitor your credit score during and after divorce proceedings.
If you don’t already, you will need to learn how to manage money.
Budgeting on your new singles income will be of utmost importance when dealing with your new decreased household income and possible new responsibilities such as first single credit card, rent or new mortgage.
Divorce and Mortgages
Through a divorce, any and all financial ass
ets that were bought or accumulated together while married, must be divided equally. In terms of a mortgage specifically, the property will either be sold and split equally, one person will buy out the other or you will have a formal agreement in place to have the other person removed from the title as per divorce agreements.
How a couple manages the matrimonial home will vary depending on the divorce agreements, but until the divorce is finalized, both parties are responsible for payments. Again, not holding up your payment will only hurt your own credit score. If your spouse is the only one who pays the bills, but your name is connected to the mortgage, make sure it is still getting paid!
If you leave the matrimonial home and attempt to obtain another mortgage before your divorce is finalized, you will be required to prove through legal documentation that your name will or is in the process of being removed from the other mortgage. Even at this, you may not be able to obtain a new mortgage until your divorce is finalized, and your name is removed from the property title and mortgage, or until the sale of the property is finalized.
Divorce is a tough enough time emotionally, don’t allow bad financial mistakes to haunt you for years to come. Take care of yourself and your finances throughout the divorce process and don’t allow your spouse to hinder your credit score in any way.
[Featured image courtesy of Kyle Lane]
[Robot Divorce by LA Robotics Club]
[Cake image by Wee Lakeo]