How Can I Protect Myself Financially During a Divorce?

February 11, 2013  |  Elizabeth A. Schading

While divorce will undoubtedly change your financial position, there are ways that you can reduce the financial danger, especially if you and your spouse have racked up lots of debt.
As we covered in a previous article, debt can become a very sticky situation during a divorce. These steps will help you avoid making the situation worse.
Start by checking your credit. It’s common for divorcing spouses to discover that there are debts they never knew existed. You and your divorce attorney can’t devise a strategy if you don’t know the full story. Pull a copy of your credit report so you can obtain a complete financial picture.
If possible, it would be a good idea to discuss closing credit accounts with your spouse before cutting off your shared lines of credit so that you do not increase the rancor between you by placing your spouse in an embarrassing situation where he or she tries to swipe a credit card that no longer works. Unless unavoidable, you should avoid taking out any new debt, as well, even if it is only in your own name.
Some who are divorcing will find that bankruptcy is their only option for securing a fresh start and a secure financial future. It’s sometimes a good idea for both you and your spouse to declare bankruptcy at the same time if most of your debts are shared. If this is done before the divorce it could take the issue of dividing debts off the table. However, you should always consult an attorney before making any legal or financial moves – there’s no doubt that this would be a monumental decision and it may not be the best solution in your specific case.
Navigating financial issues is an important part of the divorce process. Contact Barna, Guzy & Steffen for a consultation today. When you do, you’ll put over 80 years of combined experience as a divorce attorney in your corner, allowing you to make informed decisions during this difficult period of your life.