3 Ways Divorce Affects Your Credit


3 Ways Divorce Affects Your Credit

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

Divorce can be one of the most traumatic life events a person can experience. Legal fees, asset division, child support and alimony can ruin otherwise healthy finances.

  1. Your Ex Stops Paying for Joint Accounts

Many spouses jointly share credit accounts, like a mortgage or credit cards. In some cases, those accounts could still remain in both your names even after a divorce. If your ex begins making late payments or stops paying altogether, you are still responsible to pay those bills in full. Your lenders and creditors want to be paid no matter who foots the bill and no matter what your divorce contract states. If you’re on amicable, cooperative terms with your ex, you might be able to work out mutually beneficial payment arrangements. A spiteful ex, however, might avoid making payments or begin racking up debt to cause you trouble.

  1. Freeze the account pending resolution;
  2. Remove your ex from the account so that the account is in your name only;
  3. Close the account and re-open it in your name only.

In some cases, these actions or changes to account activity could initially ding your credit score, but once you’ve re-established an on-time payment history, you’ll be able to build up your credit score again.

  1. Your Soon-to-Be-Ex Objects to Selling Joint Assets

Financial disagreements are often at the root of many divorces, and those issues can persist even after the split is official. If, for example, one ex-spouse doesn’t want to sell one of the marital assets, like the primary family residence, then both of you will still be on the hook for the loan, and your credit will be vulnerable.

Generally, with loans or credit products, once the asset has been refinanced in your ex-spouse’s name, your slate is wiped clean, and your legal and financial responsibility is absolved.

  1. Your Credit Report Has Red Flags for Lenders

Review your credit report carefully and make a plan for how to improve it over time. Don’t hesitate to contact your credit providers if you have trouble paying your bills; they might be able to work out a payment plan or other arrangement to help you avoid late payments, avoid incurring more debt and keep your credit utilization low. Then, you’ll be more likely to be approved for loans and other forms of credit to help you move on from your divorce.

After Your Divorce Is Final

If your marriage left your finances in shambles, a divorce could be the best thing to ever happen to you and your credit. It’s a chance to start your personal and financial life over again and make some positive changes. A divorce can prompt you to seriously examine your financial future.

For more information and to schedule your free consultation, please call The Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P.C., at 661-255-1800. Mr. Chroman is a Trusted Advisor Award Winner and named Top 100 California Attorney’s with over 19 years of experience and local service.

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