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Divorce and debt: Prepare to protect yourself

When going through the divorce process, you’re likely to spend a lot of time thinking about your assets. Who will get the family home? What will happen to your retirement accounts? Are you entitled to all of the money in your individual bank account?

While your assets require plenty of attention, so do your debts. If you don’t take your liabilities into consideration, you could get stuck with debt that you could have otherwise avoided.

Here are some tips that can help protect you:

  • Create a debt checklist: This is a list of all your debts, along with the current amount owed. Also, make note of whether the liability is individual or marital. 
  • Consider all your options: For example, if you have joint credit card debt, talk to your soon to be ex-spouse about dealing with this before the divorce process. Maybe you can take money from a savings account to pay it off. This gives you one less thing to worry about in your divorce.
  • Prepare for the future: You’re going to walk away from your marriage with some debt, so you must prepare accordingly. One of the best things you can do is create a post-divorce budget. This will help you determine how much income you must earn in order to cover your expenses.

Divorce will alter your life in many ways, including your financial circumstances. Don’t focus so much energy on your assets that you overlook the impact that debt will have on your future. There are steps you can take to protect yourself, thus allowing you to prepare for anything that comes your way.