Whether it comes before or after the papers are signed, economic hardship is all too familiar to many couples who divorce. Following a few financial guidelines can ease the burden during this difficult time.
Each year, 1 million Americans divorce. More than 80 percent of divorcing couples cite debt and financial distress as the primary factor in the dissolution of their marriages, according to an American Bar Association survey, and studies find that most families suffer a financial decline following a divorce. By taking steps to protect credit, families can come through in much better shape. Bills.com, a national consumer finance portal, encourages divorcing couples to take the following steps:
1. Accurately assess debts and liabilities. First, see yourself as your creditors do. Online (see http://www.myfico.com ) or by phone, you can request a “tri-merge” credit report (a summary from all three major credit reporting bureaus). Note all of your existing shared and individual liabilities. Settle (or get a judgment) on how you’ll allocate these responsibilities.
2. Plan on how to handle your home. If you own a home, the mortgage is likely...