More common today than ever, it is estimated that over one million couples in the United States each year. With these splits comes pain, stress, and, of course, the unescapable divorce debt.
An Inevitable End
In the United States today, over half of all marriages end in divorce. While it is still an option that measures be taken before the fact, it is more common than not that the union is unable to be salvaged.
Divorce is the harbinger of all sorts of distress; physical illness and psychological suffering are the tip of the iceberg of conflicts that can occur during the period. Financial debt is also an issue, as lawyer bills and court fees pile on top of existing house, car, and medical payments. With one spouse pitched against the other, payments can be delayed or even ceased altogether.
Thankfully, this tunnel of divorce and debt has an end. If you find the above description fits your standing, look below to find how you can best keep your bank account and your finances safe during this lower period of your life.
Keeping Credit during Divorce
Tension between yourself and your spouse have the potential to become tense during a split, and it is up to you to guard yourself from what could be years of divorce-related debt and financial peril. Make it clear to your spouse you intend to separate yourself from him or her, and that you are taking measures to do so.
- Open New Accounts
Between yourself and your ex, this should be the first thing that happens when the decision for divorce is made. Open new accounts not just for savings, but also for checking and credit cards to clean your financial slate. You should also check with your bank to see if there is the option of “closing” your account, or barring it from anyone who might potentially otherwise sample its contents.
In addition to opening new accounts in your name, you should close any to which your spouse might be privy to the information. There have been cases of particularly malicious spouses who have, knowing the number and security code of his or her ex’s cards, gone online and wrought havoc. All you have to do to cancel your current cards are to call your company, and request no further charges. A simple action, it is worth the money you might save.
- Divide Existing Debt
As in most divorces, you and you ex will already be inundated in debts that have yet to be paid. Instead of arguing over who will pay what, make efforts either to strike a compromise or to split the owing exactly in half. Unless there are outstanding debts that are specific to one side of the pair (i.e. gambling, car loans, individual credit cards), this is typically the safest and most effective way to go.
To avoid further conflict, you might also consider paying them as quickly as possible. A demonic duo, divorce and debt should be ridded of as soon as you are able.
- Know Your Current State
Before and after securing your accounts, it is critical you obtain a copy of your credit score. This way, you can know if any damages have occurred, and when. You are also able to fix these problems more rapidly than you would, if you relied on your yearly report alone.
Easier than ordering food online, getting your credit score can be done efficiently and at little to no cost to you. There are plenty of reputable websites that can gauge for you the blow divorce debt has given to your score. If you and your spouse have handled things responsibly, the total shouldn’t be much.
Coping After the Process
During a divorce, it is not uncommon for one to experience anxiety and depression, as well as sickness and weight loss due to the abrupt change in living. Along with divorce debt, these scenarios that follow a split should not be ignored. If needed, seeking psychological assistance might be the answer to quickly getting someone back on his or her feet.
While the last thing a divorcé would want to think about is debt, it is something that will haunt him or her until its balance is paid. It is possible to negotiate with creditors a payment plan, as well as other things that can help ease the financial strain of such a harrowing experience.
If you are going through a divorce, please be assured you are not alone. Every day, billions of couples in the United States are facing the same conflict. The best thing you can do is keep your head high, and know that the change may in fact be the start of a new beginning for yourself, your family and, if you have them, your children. While debt does occur, it is better than staying in a relationship that could prove destructive in the long-term.