Asset division during divorce is a critical part of the process. You may need to split up bank accounts, retirement funds, pensions and other assets, from your home to your car to the artwork you bought together.
Don't stop with simply dividing your assets. You also need to divide your debts. As you do it, keep the following tips in mind:
- It's wise to close any of your joint accounts. This means credit card accounts, bank accounts, debit cards and the like. Stop creating debt in both of your names.
- If possible, your goal is to not have joint debt after the divorce is finalized. Some couples mull over the idea of keeping certain debts, like a mortgage, that neither person could refinance alone. However, it's better to find a solution that totally severs those financial ties.
- Remember that you can transfer debt. Putting the credit card debt into your name or your partner's name exclusively, for instance, allows you peace of mind because you know you won't be responsible for their debt moving forward.
- Record everything. Keep paperwork for any new debts, when you took out loans or opened accounts, debts you have paid off entirely, and all the rest. If you and your ex split up debt, keep paperwork showing that division. You may need to be able to prove it later if there is a misunderstanding or a conflict.
Whether you're dividing debt or assets or some of both, you always want to consult with your attorney on the best way to do that so that you're in the strongest possible financial position moving forward.