One of the biggest mistakes I see divorcing couples make is piling on additional debt after they separate, thinking that their spouse is responsible for one-half of this new debt. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. In North Carolina, the courts will look at the amount of debt you, as a couple, have incurred as of the date of separation. Anything you take on thereafter is yours alone.
While you are in the middle of a divorce, or even if you are just starting to think about separating, you want to be conservative with your finances. Now is not the time to be putting in a pool, buying a new car, or buying new furniture on credit. You want to simplify your financial situation, not make it more complex.
Before your divorce can be fully resolved, you and your spouse (or the court if you have a trial) will need to allocate who will be responsible for which debts. Generally speaking, the less complex your debt situation is, the easier this task will be.
Please remember that this is only general information. Your own specific situation may require you to vary from this advice. For example, there are times when you may have to get an automobile and it would be better for you to make this purchase before the divorce is final because on your own, you will not have sufficient credit to obtain a loan after the divorce. Once again, this is another reason why you will need the advice of a good attorney, which is why I wrote this guide in the first place!
The information in this post was prepared in part with information originally posted on the Alabama Family Law Blog.