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How to Manage Joint Debt Overload When Going Through a Separation

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Ending a marriage is difficult no matter the circumstances, but factoring in any financial problems on top of a fizzling relationship tends to further harden the experience for both former spouses. Although simplicity may dictate that assets should be split evenly, or in accordance with any particulars laid out in a prenuptial agreement, there are challenges that arise if the couple accumulated debt while married.
Modern marriages usually involve joint bank accounts and credit cards, so when there are outstanding bills or overdrafts to consider, both parties will be liable. If both spouses were somewhat reckless with money, or the debts were equally attributable to both, then this makes it simple once again. In many cases, however, one spouse tends to be more ‘blameable’ for the money owing.
While this will usually create some contention after separating, creditors pay little mind to who was at fault and focus primarily on just getting paid. That means if your spouse was responsible for the debt and is not paying it back, your creditor will naturally begin to pursue the co-signor—even after separation. Having joint accounts will often translate into joint responsibility, regardless of who racked up the debt. Fortunately, there are various debt solutions available to deal with debt overload that the associates at A.C Waring can help you explore.
If you anticipate that paying back debts may be an issue from the onset of your separation, or even before, consulting with a licensed insolvency trustee like A.C. Waring & Associates Inc. for debt help in Edmonton may help ease the intensity. Most professionals will advise to act sooner rather than later to avoid growing frustrations and further mounting debt; it could even assist in curbing some of the problems before they start.
While the division of debt is often unavoidable, cancelling your joint accounts as soon as the debt is paid and opening up separate ones will help you cease responsibility for your former spouse’s spending. You may be liable for the money your spouse owes while you were married, but you certainly do not have to be for the money owed after you split up. Unfortunately, if you still have debt that was acquired while married, even if your former spouse is supposed to pay, lenders may hold you accountable as a co-borrower and not paying will affect your credit.
To avoid getting stuck and needing debt help in Edmonton, you may attempt to negotiate a larger amount of assets in the divorce as a trade-off, or selling some of the assets together to help pay off the looming bills. Although signing a prenuptial agreement before marrying can help dispel problems, not everyone chooses this route, nor has the foresight to anticipate that problems could arise without one.
Once you know you are heading towards a separation, proceed extra cautiously with your finances. On debt that your spouse accumulated in his or her name alone—that is, loans you did not co-sign—you should not be held responsible to pay back.

Get Debt Help in Edmonton from A.C. Waring & Associates Inc.

If you are dealing with numerous debts or are unclear for which ones you are liable or not, contact a licensed insolvency trustee from A.C. Waring & Associates Inc. With over 25 years of experience we are ready to help you navigate your financial difficulties. Walk in anytime during business hours or call our office Monday through Friday at 780-424-9944, or dial us toll free in Alberta at 1-800-463-3328.

Written by Arthur Waring

Arthur earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario before earning a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Windsor. During university, he also participated in a French immersion program in Trois Pistol, Quebec, and has been employed for several national firms over the years.

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