What many couples may not realize is that they may still be financially tied to their spouse even after the finalization of their divorce. That is, you and your spouse must put in the work to ensure that your financial obligations are covered. If you do not take the proper steps towards this, your credit may be hurt as a result. Continue reading to learn how you can prevent your credit from being hurt by your divorce and how one of the experienced attorneys at our Suffolk County divorce law firm, the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C., can assist you in doing so.
Can my credit be hurt by my divorce?
Say, for instance, that you and your spouse co-signed a credit card at one point in your marriage. If you ultimately decide on a divorce, you will still be legally obligated to cover the debts incurred on this card. This is unless you take the proper steps toward correcting this. Such steps are listed below:
- Identify all the debts that you and your spouse incurred in your marriage (i.e., mortgage, credit card debts, student loan debts, personal loan debts, medical bills, etc).
- Determine the amount owed for each account, the name(s) on each account, and any past-due payments.
- Weigh the possibility of paying off these joint accounts together. If not a viable option, then create individual accounts and assign the debts accordingly.
You must understand that your divorce decree will not appear on your credit report, so your new situation will not matter to your lenders and card issuers. With this, it may be in your best interest to negotiate with lenders for a modified payment plan until you get back on track.
How can I prevent my credit from being hurt by my divorce?
While this is rare, there are instances in which a spouse will attempt to intentionally hurt the other’s credit after their divorce is finalized. So, it best serves you to take preventative measures to prevent your credit from being ruined. Such measures include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Open an individual checking account in your own name so to deposit your paychecks into this account.
- Apply for a low-limit credit card so to gradually build your own credit.
- Change your PINs on your debit cards and the passwords on all your bank accounts so to prevent your spouse from accessing them.
- Select more challenging security questions for your bank accounts so to prevent your spouse from accessing them.
- Update your billing address so to prevent your spouse from accessing information from your creditors and financial institutions.
We understand your desire to become financially independent in the aftermath of your divorce. For help with making this possible, do not hesitate in reaching out to a skilled Suffolk County divorce & separation attorney today.
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If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.