The divorce process is often contentious, and it can certainly be overwhelming to have to deal with everything at once. Unfortunately, this is how future problems arise.
There are a few certain pitfalls that you want to be absolutely sure to avoid throughout the divorce process, one of the biggest of which is the following: Do not leave your finances in your spouse’s control. While this is certainly not a pleasant thing to think about, the reality is that many individuals get burned in these exact situations.
Joint accounts are par for the course when it comes to marriages. There are numerous types, such as credit cards, shared cell phone plans, checking or savings accounts, mortgages, retirement accounts, pensions, stocks, real estate dealings, etc. All of these accounts will have to be closed or divided in the divorce.
It seems like common sense for no one to ever leave their finances in another person’s control, but the reality is that there are so many various accounts that it’s natural for one spouse to say “I’ll handle it,” and it’s left at that. While there is often no reason not to trust that it will be handled, some individuals find out years down the road that the account was never closed, and they are on the hook for collections.
The immediate response is to think that the other person did it intentionally to damage their credit, but sometimes small accounts (such as movie rental accounts, or DVR payments) are lost somewhere in the process, and are completely forgotten about.
This is why you must take an involved role in every account that has your name attached to it. Whether you will be taking over the account, removing your name, or closing it entirely, you should be fully aware and accepting of every account that has your name on it at the end of the divorce.