As you are likely well-aware, marriage is just as much a financial investment as it is an emotional one. If you are about to get a divorce, we suggest that you follow these tips to help you avoid common divorce-related problems.
#1. Copy Your Financial Records
Before filing for divorce, make sure that you copy all of your financial records, and keep them in a safe place tucked away from your spouse.
This includes: personal and business income tax returns (last 3 years), pay stubs, bank and credit card statements, stock certificates, accounting statements from investment firms, life insurance information etc. Getting these records during the discovery process can be a lot harder and more expensive.
# 2. Get Copies of Mortgage Applications
Get copies of any credit or mortgage applications completed in the last 12 months of your separation. If they were joint, they will list the income, assets and liabilities of both spouses. These can be an excellent source of asset discovery if you there's a concern that your spouse is withholding assets.
#3. Pay Attention to Marital Debt
If you and your spouse have any joint marital debts, you are both liable for the debts after the divorce, regardless of what the divorce decree says. If your ex-spouse doesn't pay a debt that he or she is responsible for, YOU are responsible for that debt.
#4. Monitor Joint Debt
If your ex was made responsible for a debt that was jointly incurred, monitor that account monthly to ensure that the payments are made. If your ex defaults on the payments, it can adversely affect your credit score.
#5. Protect Child Support Payments
If you will receive child support, get a life insurance policy on your soon-to-be ex, and ensure that there is disability insurance. These will protect your income in case your ex is disabled or dies. You will own the life insurance and pay the premiums; be sure to have your ex apply for and get coverage before the divorce is finalized.
For more tips, contact the Los Angeles divorce attorneys at Claery & Hammond, LLP.