Separating finances after divorce

When married couples in New Jersey split up, property and asset division is often a primary concern. Spouses with few or no debts or assets may find this process to be relatively simple. However, partners who do own a home, have significant debt or multiple retirement accounts might find it quite complicated to "detangle" finances.

In many marriages, the family home is the couple's greatest asset. A lot of couples opt to sell the home and divide the proceeds. Keeping real estate in a divorce can be complicated and, in some cases, impossible. If a spouse does decide to continue living in the family home, they may opt to refinance the current mortgage in their own name.

Other assets, including bank, investment and retirement accounts, will also have to be divided. This may require both spouses closing accounts together, as well as filing forms in the workplace that designate new beneficiaries for retirement accounts and insurance policies. In many cases, management of these accounts and assets will have to be determined as part of the legal divorce process.

Debts are also a consideration. As previously noted, creditors are not required to honor divorce agreements when it comes to collecting debts. Ideally, a couple should strive to pay off and close joint credit card and loan accounts during the divorce process. If that's not possible, each spouse should monitor balances and their credit reports to ensure that the terms of the divorce agreement are being met by the responsible party.

A spouse who is considering divorce might want to consult with a family law attorney. Legal counsel could review the client's financial circumstances and make recommendations regarding handling debts and dividing assets.

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