How to Protect Your Credit Score During a Divorce
When spouses go through the process of a divorce, finances become a major concern, especially when it comes to one’s credit score. To come out of your divorce with an unscathed credit score, you will need to take certain steps to protect it, ensuring that your new clean slate is exactly that.
Here are some scenarios you should be aware of to keep your credit score from taking a dive:
- No one pays the joint credit card debt: Part of a divorce settlement includes who will pay certain marital debts. If your ex-spouse was ordered to pay a joint credit card debt, but neglects to fulfill this duty, the account might be sent to collections. If this occurs, it can do some real damage to the credit records of both you and your ex-spouse, even if you were unaware it was happening.
- The car payments are becoming too much to handle: If your ex-spouse is awarded the family car, it also means he or she will be required to make any necessary payments. While making car payments might have been easier as a couple with two incomes, it might be harder for one spouse to accomplish. If your ex-spouse is moving into a new home and relying on one income, he or she might end up making late payments and getting reported. This can significantly hurt a credit report.
- Credit is maxed out: If a married couple relied heavily on the income of one spouse’s large credit limits, and the other only had one card that was nearly maxed out, it might not have been a big deal for them as a couple. However, after the divorce, the ex-spouse still only has that one credit card to fall back on and it quickly gets maxed out. Since the level of available credit is part of a credit score, having only one maxed out credit card will hurt that spouse’s score.
Both parties in a divorce should consider their personal credit history and address their concerns in a divorce decree. In order for both of you to protect your credit records, here are some helpful tips you should follow:
- Separate yourself from your ex-spouse: One of the first things you should do is make sure your name is no longer listed on any accounts that are controlled by your ex.
- Start your own accounts: To ensure you have access to credit and to establish a good history, you will need to have your own accounts.
- Do not get overextended: Make sure that the payments you are responsible for in the divorce decree fit within your budget. Remember to factor in any new costs associated with moving out of the marital home.
- Monitor your credit score: Getting a detailed credit report at little to no cost is easy these days, so take advantage of this. You should also review your reported accounts and ensure nothing is unaccounted for.
- Keep tabs on your kids: If you share children with your former spouse, you are going to have to stay in touch with him or her. Be sure to keep track of child support owed under your divorce decree and avoid paying for any items that are not your responsibility.
Long Island Family Law Attorneys
At Hedayati Law Group, P.C., we have aided countless families over the years through a wide range of legal issues that threatened their rights and goals. If you are faced with an unresolved family issue, you can turn to us for help. Our Long Island legal team will handle all the details associated with your case to protect your interests. Whether your case needs to be settled in or out of court, you can trust in the extensive experience and skill our family law attorneys.
We understand that family law cases are often emotionally taxing and overwhelming, which is why we are dedicated to making this process as stress-free as possible, so you can feel peace of mind as your case proceeds.
Contact us today at (631) 880-6440 to schedule a free consultation.