You may believe that you can keep your own financial identity when you get married, but the truth is that you will be come tied to your spouse in many more ways than you ever expected. Even if a split is amicable, it can leave you in financial trouble. Throughout the marriage, it is very likely that the finances will merge, and that one partner will take the majority of responsibility when it comes to paying the household bills. If a divorce occurs, these are the things that can lead to credit problems.
You must remember that divorcing does not end the shared financial responsibilities. If your spouse has credit problems, these problems will continue to plague you long after a divorce. There are several ways, however, that you can protect yourself from the credit problems that a divorce might bring. First of all, make sure you are aware of the accounts for which you are responsible. By assigning responsibility, there will be fewer arguments down the road.
A huge step is to dissolve any joint accounts. This does not just apply to bank accounts, but also car loans, mortgages, insurance, and utilities. This will save you a lot of heartache later as it will keep you from trying to split everything down the middle. You will also be responsible only for your personal finances, which will remove the possibility of paying for your spouse’s mistakes.
You may find it hard to part with your home, but selling the house after a divorce is really the best idea. Of course, it is harder if there are children involved, because they will already feel as if their world is slipping out from under them. From a financial perspective, though, it is better in the long run to sell the house and split the profits, rather than attempt to care for the house on your own. In some cases, one spouse found a credit rating ruined when the other spouse allowed the house to slip into foreclosure.
Lastly, be sure to document everything. Keep accurate records so that you can back up any claims in court. Divorce is certainly hard enough without adding the financial burdens on top, but you can find ways to protect yourself. It is not cold-hearted to take these steps immediately, either. After all, most people want to get their life back to some semblance of normal as soon as possible.