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Debt is the number one reason for fighting among all couples. Unfortunately, the constant fighting and mounting debt often lead to divorce. Dividing up assets, wondering how to pay for attorneys’ fees and the thought of getting stuck with marital debt can quickly land a fresh divorcee even deeper in debt. That’s why it’s important for you to do a little planning ahead before the divorce is officially underway.
If you are willing to follow some important tips, both you and your soon-to-be ex may be able to get your finances in order before the divorce turns everything upside down. Preparation before your divorce can not only save you a lot of precious money when it comes to attorneys’ fees, it can also put you on a solid financial path as you begin to move forward in a brand new phase of your life. With that in mind, here are some good tips to follow if you are planning to file for divorce in North Carolina:
Gather your own financial documentation: When you file for a divorce, an attorney will need to gather essential financial documents that show your assets, debts, income and cost of living expenses. You will likely need to come up with the last several years of tax returns, pay stubs, bank account statements, deeds and lease agreements. If, for whatever reason, you have a problem locating or obtaining any necessary financial documents, you can hire a lawyer. In this case, your attorney will reach out to the appropriate financial institution or to your spouse’s attorney and obtain the documents you need.
Get your own credit report: As you know, it’s a smart idea to check your credit report on a regular basis, always looking for potential creditor errors. This is also true as you begin to prepare for a divorce. You will need to request a copy of your report from any one of the major reporting agencies, then carefully review it for any problems. If you happen to find something that you don’t agree with, report it immediately so that it is not an issue during the divorce.
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Close joint accounts and open one of your own: When you close joint bank accounts and open one that is only in your name, it will make dividing finances much easier. More importantly, it will prevent your future ex from secretly draining the joint bank account if things start to get ugly between the two of you. Remember, if both of your names appear on the account, your spouse has the right to go in and empty out all the money without your knowledge or consent.
Have all shared assets valuated: If you and your spouse share things like a home, cars, valuable art or jewelry, you should have everything appraised before filing for divorce. This will make the process of dividing assets and property much easier when the time comes. While it’s true that your divorce attorney can arrange this for you, you’ll ultimately save a ton of money in lawyer’s fees by taking the initiative to do this beforehand.
Come up with an acceptable repayment plan for shared debts: This is likely the most important thing you and your spouse could do for one another before the divorce proceedings are underway. No matter who is responsible for what, if both your names are listed on the debt, both of you will be legally and financially responsible for paying it back. This type of joint debt usually includes things like credit cards or mortgage debts. So, if there is an outstanding balance on any shared debt, the two of you should come up with a payment plan that will allow you to pay off the debt in a timely manner. While that may be easier said than done, nothing is impossible when it comes to your financial future.
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Divorce isn’t just stressful on your emotions; it can be detrimental to your financial situation. When you consider the fact that you are used to living in a two income situation, the thought of supporting yourself with only one income can be overwhelming. The last thing you want to do is accumulate more debt during the divorce.
If you are already struggling with massive amounts of debt and are considering filing for bankruptcy, it’s important that you enlist the help of a trusted North Carolina bankruptcy attorney. Whether you are filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, only an experienced NC bankruptcy lawyer will know how to navigate the bankruptcy process and get you started on the road to an independent, fresh financial start.
Dedicated to helping residents of North Carolina find the best solutions to their debt problems. Don’t waste another day worrying about your debt. Call 1-888-234-4181 today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your bankruptcy options.