While a divorce is emotionally devastating, it can be financially devastating as well. That is, your credit can be hurt if you do not take the proper steps toward protecting it. Follow along to find out how your credit can be hurt after your divorce and how a proficient Somerset County divorce attorney at Siragusa Law Firm can help you in preventing this from happening.
How can my credit be hurt after my divorce?
Contrary to what you may believe, your financial ties with your spouse will not be automatically cut loose when finalizing your divorce. Rather, you and your spouse must work together in ensuring that all your financial obligations are covered, whether it be by one of you or both of you.
Say you and your spouse co-signed a credit card when you were still married. Unless you take the proper steps toward correcting this, you will still be held legally responsible for the debts incurred on this card. This is because your divorce decree will not appear on your credit report and will not matter to your lenders or card issuers. Ignoring this financial obligation after your divorce will ultimately hurt your credit score and your chances at financial independence from your spouse.
So, to prevent this from occurring, you must take the following approach:
- Record all the debts that you and your spouse incurred when you were still married, such as your mortgage, credit card debts, student loan debts, personal loan debts, etc.
- Calculate what you owe for each account, whose name appears on each account, and whether any account has past due payments.
- Determine the possibility of paying off these joint accounts together.
- If you cannot pay off these debts together, then convert your joint accounts into individual accounts and assign the debts accordingly.
How else can my credit be hurt after my divorce?
Unfortunately, there have been instances where a spouse will attempt to ruin the other’s credit in the aftermath of their divorce. While you may believe this to be inconceivable for your situation, it is best to practice caution. So, you must take the following steps toward protecting your credit:
- Open an individual checking account in your own name and start depositing your paychecks into this account.
- Apply for a low-limit credit card and gradually build your own credit.
- Change your PINs on your debit cards and the passwords on all your bank accounts.
- Select security questions for your bank accounts that your spouse cannot easily guess.
- Update your billing address with your creditors and financial institutions.
For more, contact a talented Somerset County family law attorney today.
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If you need legal representation for a matter of Family Law, Supplemental Security Income, Medical Malpractice, Social Security Disability, or Legal Malpractice, contact Siragusa Law Firm today.