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To simpify property division, separated couples evaluate finances

Often when couples in Louisiana consider divorce, they do not have a clear idea of how drastically their financial situations may change. Along with property division comes the division of debt, and this may take its toll on any savings or plans for the future. The possibility of a couple in a troubled marriage being able to peacefully discuss finances may be slim, but if they take advantage of the separation period to make some decisions, things might go more smoothly during and after the proceedings.

One major decision many couples must make is what to do with the house in the event of a divorce. Each state has particular rules about living arrangements during a separation, and couples should contact their individual attorneys for advice. Meanwhile, some couples opt to rent out their homes until they decide on the fate of their marriages. That way, if they decide to stay together, they still have their home.

Keeping the goal of financial independence in mind, separated couples may use the time to establish individual bank accounts and pay off as much debt as possible. Marital debt is divided during a divorce, even if only one spouse is responsible for the loans. If paying off the debt is not possible, advisers recommend applying for transfer cards or personal loans in one's own name to pay off and close any join accounts. This also prevents a vengeful spouse from racking up more debt.

Couples who decide to separate may wish to examine their finances, even if divorce is not imminent. Contacting an attorney for advice may clarify some of the Louisiana state laws regarding property division. A family law attorney will also be able to give one a better idea of how a divorce will ultimately affect one's financial situation.

Source: wisebread.com, "How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation", Ashley Eneriz, Nov. 11, 2016

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