Many people are unsure about whether or not their credit can be affected by a divorce. To clear up some of the confusion, we have broken down a few points that are important to remember so that if you find yourself in this situation, you can know what you can expect.
Divorce proceedings will not harm your credit score directly. Creditworthiness is not in any way affected by your marital status. What can affect your credit, however, are the financial matters that come along with the divorce process.
If you have any joint credit accounts, like mortgages or credit cards, you must deal with them prior to divorce because somebody has to pay them. Failing to do so could result in confusion later when it becomes unclear who is responsible for paying any debts associated with the account. If you are both still listed as users on the account, and one of you is either unwilling or unable to pay, you will both be penalized. Remember that just because you may be separating, your contracts with lenders are still valid, so separating your accounts in a timely manner can go a long way in making sure that you are not jeopardizing your credit score. Once your divorce is finalized, closing an account or removing your ex’s name from the account is imperative to make sure no further debt is incurred.
It is best to try to maintain an amicable relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Unfortunately, a vindictive spouse may try and sabotage their spouse’s credit on joint accounts by charging up large purchases and leaving them with the bill. What they may not realize is that if their name is still listed on the account, they may be harming their own credit as well.
Finally, be aware that if you have been involved in messy divorce proceedings, and have spent a significant amount of money on your divorce alone, any trouble you may have not being able to pay credit card bills or mortgage payments will also take a toll on your credit score. Keep an eye on your finances so that you don’t find yourself in a situation where your inability to pay compromises your future creditworthiness.
Your credit score is important, and failing to take proper care of your accounts can have consequences that will haunt you for years to come. If you are considering a divorce and have questions about how to cleanly separate your finances, contact the St. Louis divorce attorneys at The Buxner Law Firm today at (314) 863-6000 to schedule a free in-office consultation.