Consider Your Credit Situation When Getting a Divorce
The first few steps of a divorce are possibly the most emotional and stressful of the entire process because it is all so new and confusing. However, it is also the most critical time to get yourself organized so you can get a favorable settlement and come out of your divorce in a financially sound position.
Specifically, you will want to closely analyze your credit situation and determine what you will need to do to keep or build a strong credit score moving forward. The following are a few credit-related considerations to keep in mind:
- Joint accounts: If you have joint credit accounts held with your spouse, you are both responsible for paying back any debts that exist — regardless of who actually did the spending. Thus, it’s wise to cancel these accounts as soon as possible so your former spouse cannot rack up debt knowing you will also be responsible for it.
- Individual accounts: If you have credit accounts in your name, make sure you have not listed your former spouse as an approved user of your card. If your ex-spouse decides to use the card, you will be solely responsible for those debts. Remove the other person from the account or close the account.
- Bankruptcy: If one person files for bankruptcy, that party will be cleared of his or her debt responsibility, which means creditors may come calling to you instead for joint account debts. This might make it necessary for you to file bankruptcy as well — or to declare joint bankruptcy before your divorce.
- Credit score: You are going to want to have a good credit score coming out of your divorce, so make sure you find any unusual charges, potential identity theft issues or any other evidence of wrongdoing before it becomes an issue.
- Marital debt: Any debt you incurred together as a married couple is the responsibility of both parties. This includes debts beyond just credit accounts, such as mortgages, car loans, tax debts and more. Figure out exactly which debts are joint responsibility before the divorce.
To learn more about your options and obligations as you seek the dissolution of your marriage, speak with an experienced family law attorney at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.