Divorce does not only involve the division of assets, but also the distribution of debts and, in some cases, future income. A family law dispute can cause a great deal of financial stress and can have a major impact on a person's credit if they are stuck carrying more debt than they can manage. Here are some tips for Alberta individuals, couples, and families looking to protect their credit in the case of a divorce.
The first step people should take is to fully understand their financial situation. For example, people are advised to access their credit report as soon as possible using a credit reporting company approved in Alberta. A credit report will list all financial obligations that exist on paper, which is important information when entering the divorce arena.
In many cases, spouses are jointly accountable for debts such as car loans and mortgages. Even if one spouse is not responsible for a debt on paper, that individual may be found legally liable if the property was clearly joint during the marriage. Clarifying who is responsible for which debts will be part of the divorce process, but getting a head start on this conversation as much as possible is wise.
It is important to collect all financial documents early on for two reasons. First, it clarifies the current situation and makes it easier to reach resolution on financial matters. Second, it offers an opportunity to clear up inaccuracies, preventing a drawn out family law dispute. Details about debts and assets should also be shared with an Alberta family lawyer early on to clarify the necessary steps for the separation and divorce.