Property division is one of the most stressful elements of ending a marriage. We say this often in our blog and in our communications with New York residents because we want them to be as prepared as possible. Even divorces that begin amicably often devolve into chaos when it is time to split your assets.
One reason for the stress that appears during property division is dividing your debts as well as your assets. Many couples do not expect this and so become blindsided by this aspect of parting ways. Even when debt division occurs relatively easily, there is never a guarantee that each spouse will abide by the agreement.
For example, say you and your soon-to-be-ex have three joint credit accounts. During property division, you agree to take responsibility for one of these accounts while your spouse agrees to take on the other two. Months down the line you begin receiving notices that your spouse has stopped making payments.
Now, the creditor is coming after you to pay off the balance, which seems (and is) unfair. However, you are legally responsible because you share the debt with your former spouse. The creditor is fully within its rights to seek payment from you if your ex will not pay.
One of the most important tips we offer our clients is to close all joint credit accounts as soon as possible. This one step can save you from insurmountable debt combined with penalties and late fees. It can also help you continue protecting your credit score.
Please continue reviewing our blog and our website to find resources that can help you cope with divorce and all of its stages.