For anyone that has been through a divorce, you know all of the heartache that is associated with it. You know all of the tears, the frustrations, the fear, the anger, and the confusion that comes along with a divorce. Divorce is a painful, expensive, life changing experience that no one ever hopes to go through.
But if you are in a situation where you are going through a divorce, you want to do everything you can to limit the damage on your life. As much as possible, you want to limit the bad effects this has on you.
Many of the life-altering effects of divorce cannot be avoided. They are a natural occurrence that comes along with this horrible event. But some of these effects can be avoided.
One of the things that you can avoid is having divorce destroy your credit. Many times, poor credit happens as a result of a divorce. But with some work, this can be prevented.
How divorce can negatively impact your credit
Many people who go through a divorce have their credit negatively impacted because of the divorce. In a lot of cases, the court will grant an “award of joint marital property”, and a “division of joint marital debts” to one of the previous spouses. If one of the spouses can’t or doesn’t pay those debts, the obligation may still fall on both spouses (if the debt was a joint obligation originally).
So, if one of the spouses doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain and the debts aren’t paid, both spouses’ credit reports can be affected. The creditor can go after both spouses. It may be possible that the late payments, collection agencies, etc will show up on both spouses’ credit reports. This may mean that your credit report may be very badly affected, even if it isn’t you failing to make the payments.
How to protect your credit after a divorce
There are ways that you can protect your credit after a divorce. According to Lexington Law, a credit repair agency, “You can provide your creditors with notice of the divorce and the division of obligations between the parties. For example if your former spouse was awarded the marital home and it is subject to a mortgage held by Bank A, submit a copy of your divorce decree or judgment to Bank A detailing that your former spouse is now responsible for your mortgage.”
So to start out with, you will want to notify your creditors of your divorce (providing proof of this), and which debts are no longer your obligation (again, providing proof).
Lexington Law also says that you are protected if it does come to a point where your spouse does default on one of their obligations. They explain that, in those cases, “the court that issued the divorce decree or judgment may have a procedure to question and remedy the default.” So keep that in mind if your spouse does default on their end, the court may be able to assist you.
Make sure you are protected
Your credit does not have to be part of the collateral damage that comes with your divorce. If your credit is negatively affected by a divorce, know that you have rights. You have ways to protect yourself. Make sure you take the necessary steps to do that. Don’t let your credit go down because of a divorce. If you see it being very negatively affected, you may want to hire a family lawyer and a credit repair law firm to help you.
Nicole has years of experience with all things credit. She has a passion for teaching people about ways to keep their credit reports in the best shape possible.
Remember, if you’re going through divorce and worried about credit – you’re not alone – many other people are out there searching for the same information.