Most people headed for divorce are aware that their assets and liabilities will be divided. What they might not know is that there are steps they can take prior to their divorce to make this division go more smoothly.

Sell or refinance the house
If you are planning to sell the house, go ahead and do it. The fewer assets and liabilities a couple has, the simpler, and usually cheaper, the divorce. If the two of you have decided that one of you will be keeping the house, the party expecting to keep it should apply to refinance the home in their name solely. Some loan companies will allow a “loan assumption,” which can be faster and less expensive than refinancing. The sooner you apply, the sooner you’ll know if keeping the house is a feasible option. For more information regarding mortgages and divorce, click here.

Close and pay off all joint credit accounts
One of the messiest areas of life after a divorce is remaining joint debt. No matter who the divorce decree states is responsible for payment, the creditor will hold both parties accountable if payments are missed. No one wants their credit dinged because an ex-spouse was on vacation with her new boyfriend and forgot to send the payment. Close the door on problems like this by satisfying all joint debt. For more information regarding joint debt and divorce, click here.

Save any major purchases for after the divorce is final
If you felt controlled during your marriage, it’s tempting to lease that car your spouse wouldn’t have approved of, buy a sexy new wardrobe, or fill that empty apartment with modern furniture your spouse would have rolled her eyes at. Avoid this temptation. On the off chance that your divorce turns nasty, you could be accused of dissipation of marital assets. It’s best to delay your gratification until the fat lady sings.

Angela Angelovic


CC photo courtesy of Casey Konstantín via Flickr