Divorce can be an exciting, confusing, emotionally turbulent time in your life. From determining child support and child custody to dividing assets and debt responsibility, you will face numerous challenges while separating one household into two futures. There are certain matters you must pay careful attention to, however, to ensure your credit rating and financial future are not damaged after the divorce.
While most divorcing couples prioritize the division of assets – physical or digital – during the process, it is also wise to thoroughly examine any debts accrued over the duration of the marriage. Things from personal loans and shared credit cards to medical bills must be discussed. The best solution would be paying off any shared debt when you realize divorce has become a reality. Failing that, you will have to agree to who is ultimately responsible for what marital debt after the divorce.
Closing joint accounts
The harsh reality is that the credit card company doesn’t care that you’ve divorced. It doesn’t matter to them that your ex-spouse has agreed to take over payments on a shared account. They are only concerned about receiving regular payments. The best course of action is to close all shared or jointly held accounts during or shortly after the divorce process. If your ex has agreed to pay the debt, then he or she should open a new account in just one name and transfer the balance. If your name still appears on an account, the creditor will come to you for payments if your ex is late or negligent.
Your credit score
After a divorce, you will likely face significant changes in both your spending habits and your purchasing power. You might also notice a change in your credit rating as you adjust to your new financial independence. It is wise to get in the habit of requesting regular credit reports so you can ensure accounts that should be closed are closed and you can learn what types of factors can positively influence your credit score.
Working with a skilled family law attorney can mean the difference between a smooth transition and a rocky divorce. While not every marriage ends amicably, there are certain steps you can take to solidify a strong financial future.