There are many different horror stories out there about people who have had their credit ruined in their divorce. From wives maxing out their husband’s credit cards to husbands who have squandered the life savings on a gambling debt, there are all sorts of things that can happen during your divorce that can adversely impact your credit. Some of the worst stories feature angry spouses who have deliberately destroyed their ex’s credit rating out of spite.
However, this sort of behavior can have unintended consequences. A damaged credit rating can affect your ability to purchase a home or automobile, or obtain a credit card for emergency purchases. Many, times, it is the children of who are most affected when one spouse tries to ruin the other’s credit rating. When one spouse has a credit score that has been sabotaged, the children can be forced to live in subpar conditions.
In states with equitable distribution laws, both spouses can be responsible for any debts that have been accumulated throughout the marriage. This means that a spouse who attempts to destroy their ex’s credit rating is actually hurting their own rating in the process.
What Can I do to Protect My Credit During Divorce?
Divorce can make people do irrational things. Often, people who are embattled in a difficult divorce aren’t thinking straight. It is important that you are vigilant about protecting your credit before and after your divorce.
You should do the following things to ensure that your credit rating is protected:
- If you can, pay off and close out any joint credit cards that you share with your spouse. You can also request to have your spouses name removed from your accounts. Your goal is to make a clean break, so make sure you cover all of the credit cards you have opened with your spouse.
- If you and your ex own a home together, you should think about selling it. Not only can you split the sale with your spouse, but selling your home will eliminate the risk of one spouse failing to keep up with the mortgage payments. Missed mortgage payments have a substantial impact on your credit.
- If your spouse ends up keeping your home, make sure that they refinance the mortgage under their name. When a spouse doesn’t refinance the mortgage, it can leave the other spouse financially bound to the property, which will affect their credit.
- You should check your credit report before and after the divorce to see which names appear on each account. Take note of any suspicious activity that appears on your credit report.
- If you can, try to get a collaborative divorce. This type of divorce can be less expensive than a contested divorce. Divorce can be costly, and you don’t want to have to rely on credit cards to pay for your legal expenses.
Do you have more questions about protecting your credit in divorce? Contact our Bowling Green divorce lawyer to find out how we can help you today.