The Truth - the Winning Argument for Your Case

27 Jun. 2012

Dividing Debt in a Divorce

Posted By The Buncher Law Corporation

In today's economy, I can't think of a single divorce I have handled that doesn't weigh heavily on the family finances. Consider this installment an extension of one of my earlier posts titled "How to Save Money in a Divorce." And probably one of the most important things you'll do is decide how to distribute your debt.

Let's start with a hypothetical situation regarding community property. You may cynically reply, "What community property? We are upside down on our home, what savings we had is gone and all our credit cards are maxed out."

Feel a bit of kismet with that remark? If so, then one strategy in your divorce will not only be about dividing assets, but how you divide debt.

If you want to save A LOT OF MONEY, then one of the first things you'll want to do is get some professional assistance - not just a good attorney, but also possibly an accountant.

The next thing you'll want to do is organize your finances and familiarize yourself with the "Income and Expense Declaration Form." Put some serious time into filling out this document as completely as possible.

Next, come up with a plan with your professionals so that you can make wise and informed decisions. For instance, some debts will have tax advantages while others will not; some debts are shared, some are not. Some debts, such as school loans, will go to the party that originally took out the loan.

Get as much as you can from your hired pros - benefit from their education and training to illuminate the path as much as possible. Try to anticipate how a judge will divide your debt so that you are prepared and can properly establish your own personal financial status separate from your spouse.

Lastly, discuss with your attorney and accountant the importance/possibility of closing all joint accounts as you do not want to be responsible for increased debt that your spouse is racking up on the credit cards while you are still in the process of getting your divorce. There is a good chance that debts incurred during the process of the divorce could still be considered to be both parties responsibility thus by separating your finances early on you will have more control over your own financial future.

Questions? Considering divorce? Contact The Buncher Law Corporation today to schedule a consultation with an Orange County divorce lawyer.

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