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Ask the Experts

Ask The Experts

Q:
What can I do to protect myself financially from divorce

My husband and I have agreed to split up. I have heard so many horror stories from my friends and family that I am scared about the future. What can I do to protect myself financially? I can't afford to pay back everything we owe by myself. -Kelly

Kelly,

The first financial action after separation is to pull a copy of your credit report. You will want to review entries carefully and either close all joint accounts or change them to individual accounts. Alert your secured lenders of your marital status and instruct them not to allow any changes without your permission. You may also want to “freeze” joint bank accounts or divide any funds into two individual bank accounts.

To avoid future problems, develop a plan to pay off your debts prior to your divorce. This is important because your divorce decree is an agreement between you and your spouse—not your creditors.

Because there are many legal issues involved, you might benefit from the help of a trusted attorney.

Good luck,

The Advice Team