Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.
It’s a horrible truth, but some people’s spouses are so mired in debt that divorce seems like the only way out. But divorce could actually make debt problems worse. I’m Clark Palmer with your Bankrate.com personal finance minute.
Complete protection from your spouse’s financial affairs may be impossible, but there are a variety of ways to defend your assets.
Prenuptial agreements are the best roadblocks. You can also get a post-marital prenup which covers the same ground as a premarital one. But keep in mind that creditors aren’t subject to either one of those agreements. They may still try to collect from you and your spouse.
Another method is to lock up your assets in certain retirement plans, trusts, partnerships or corporations, annuities or life insurance products. But just make sure that these accounts are actually held separately.
Any strategy depends on good communication to be successful. But the saver should offer up his or her savings to pay off the spender’s debts. If the debts are easily paid off, the spender is likely to go into debt again in a matter of months.
For more debt management tips, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Clark Palmer.