When I started getting into trouble I became pretty acclimated to legal procedures. Calling my attorney and working out bail was just another way to spend a Saturday night. Unfortunately, the stiffer the charges, the more difficult it was to talk my way out of a bad situation. After so many charges, I found myself slapped with a long jail sentence, and I realized that I wanted to turn things around. Fortunately, my lawyer was able to walk me through yet another process, so that I could make the right changes. My blog discusses how to emotionally cope with legal issues so that you can start living a good life.
When getting a divorce, you'll need to divvy up marital assets and marital debts with your former spouse. This means that you can be responsible for your former spouse's poor spending habits while you two were still together. Don't overlook the burden of marital debt, as most Americans are under a lot of debt. This is mainly due to the ever increasing cost of living. While the average household income has increased by 26% in the past 12 years, the cost of living has risen by 29%. If your former spouse fails to make payments, you can be held responsible. To protect yourself, make sure that your divorce contract contains an indemnity clause. Here are 3 terms you should consider.
Agreement to Make No Further Purchases or Add On More Debt
Depending on the type of marital debt that you are responsible for, you need to consider whether there is a possibility that your former spouse may be able to not only avoid paying the debt, but also accrue more debt that you may later be responsible for. This is particularly true for credit card debt. The indemnity clause should outline the type of marital debts that are present with an agreement that the debtor will make no further purchases or will not add on anymore debt to the account.
Verification of Debt Payments Regularly or When Asked
As any debt that defaults can hurt your credit score, you don't want to find yourself in a situation where you are surprised that regular payments have not been made. With that said, once the divorce has been finalized, you may no longer have access to the account or it may not be easy for you to obtain payment information. Include terms in the indemnity clause that will allow you to request for verification of debt payment whenever you desire or at certain intervals. This way, you'll be well aware of possible financial trouble in the future, so that it doesn't come as a surprise.
Adjustments to Debt Owed to You on Payments You Made on Behalf of Your Former Spouse
In the event that your former spouse does not have the financial ability to make payments, you may decide to make the payments on their behalf in order to keep your credit score and financial situation in check. The indemnity clause should allow you to take your former spouse to court for the debt that is then owed to you. Terms surrounding the debt should be further clarified. For example, if you were to make payments on the debt for your former spouse, you might want to include a term that will allow you to easily recover interest on the payments made.
While you might feel relieved that you are finally finalizing your divorce, don't be hasty when signing the divorce contract. Make sure you fully understand the type and amount of marital debt that you'll now be responsible for, and make sure that the divorce contract contains an indemnity clause that will protect you should your former spouse neglect their responsibilities.Share