Separating finances early on may prevent divorce disputes later

Separating finances early on may prevent divorce disputes later

Each year, thousands of Illinois marriages end in divorce, and many of those couples are not prepared financially to deal with the potential fallout from a failed marriage. For many couples, finances are one of the main issues that cause marital problems, and an Illinois divorce lawyer knows that those problems do not disappear once a marriage has ended. Separating finances early on in the divorce process may be the best way for couples to prepare for the road ahead, and prevent the likelihood of divorce disputes later on.

Separate bank accounts

Many married couples have joint bank accounts that they both use throughout their marriage. When contemplating divorce, obtaining separate bank accounts is one of the first steps that should be taken. An Illinois divorce lawyer understands that some spouses choose to drain shared bank accounts as a way to get back at their ex when faced with divorce. By placing earned income into a separate account, divorcing spouses can prevent each other from going on a spending spree. Often, removing a name from a bank account is as simple as visiting the bank, but new PIN numbers and passwords should be set up to block access to new accounts.

Debt does not go away

When separating finances, it is important to remember that both spouses are responsible for any jointly-held debt. During the property division process, the court may assign certain debts to one spouse or the other, but collection agencies can still go after either spouse regardless of a divorce agreement. If possible, couples should obtain separate credit cards prior to filing for divorce in order to limit the amount of debt they could end up saddled with. Some experts recommend that spouses run regular credit checks on each other to make sure that each spouse’s debt payments are covered.

Prepare for additional expenses

Divorce can cause household costs to rise significantly for both spouses. Preparing to face the additional expenses that are sure to come can help each party anticipate how he or she will handle finances on a single income. Couples may choose to work with a financial professional or an Illinois divorce lawyer to determine how finances should be handled before filing for divorce. Couples who wait to deal with monetary issues until they are in the midst of divorce proceedings often find that the conflicts that arise could have been avoided by getting finances separated ahead of time.

Going through a divorce is rarely an easy process, but for those couples who are contemplating a separation, a little forethought regarding their financial situation may go a long way in keeping things as civil as possible later on.

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