A divorce triggers the division of all of a couple’s debts and assets such as real estate, vehicles, credit cards and retirement. No matter how financially stable they were prior to the divorce, the couple often walks away with less than half of their assets and more debt than they may be able to afford. Now single, a newly divorced person has to financially rebuild a new life.
The first thing I suggest to my clients is to breathe. Panicking does not help. The second suggestion I make to my clients is to acknowledge they need to focus on their financial future in very manageable ways.
Check Credit Reports
The first step involves having one’s financial life in writing. Minnesotans can request a free credit report each year from www.AnnualCreditReport.com, a website run by the country’s three credit reporting agencies. These credit reports are what banks and credit card companies see when they assess whether to lend money or credit.
Put together a list of debt to know what needs to be repaid. In some situations, it may be necessary to file bankruptcy. I am a fan of Lutheran Social Services that offers free and reputable help for people who want some help conquering their debt. It can be contacted through http://www.lssmn.org/debt/.
Start Building Positive Credit
One of the surest ways to build positive credit is to repay debt on time every month. Another option is to apply for a credit card or a loan, but it is important to consider those bills have to be repaid each month which may be financially out of reach.
Remember Joint Accounts
Refinance mortgages, credit cards, car loans and other similar debt so each debt is only in one person’s name. Missed payments are going to negatively affect both credit scores even if the ex-spouse agreed to pay them. It is vital to monitor transactions payments to assure bills are being paid on time.
Contact experienced family law attorney Jessica L. Sterle at (218) 722-2655 to schedule a consultation to discuss your divorce or custody case.