Will Divorce Hurt Your Credit Score?
There is a lot to think about when you are going through a divorce, and your credit score may not be at the top of your mind. However, it is crucial that you do consider your credit score, so you do not walk away from the divorce in a position that could negatively affect it. So, if you are going through a divorce, how can you ensure that it will not affect your credit?
Divorce Alone Will Not Affect Your Score
Simply getting a divorce is not enough to affect your credit score. The court clerk does not contact TransUnion or any of the other major credit reporting bureaus to inform them that you are newly single. The bureaus are more concerned with your debts, and how many unpaid debts you have, than they are your marital status. Still, there are ways divorce can affect your credit score and it is important to know what those include.
Joint Debts vs. Separate Debts
Once your divorce is final, you will likely be liable for all or a portion of joint debts, and all or a portion of separate debts. Joint debts include debts that you and your spouse took on together during your marriage. For example, if you both signed the mortgage document for the marital home, that is a joint debt. Separate debts, on the other hand, are debt that only you or your spouse took out and accounts that only have one name on them.
Although you will likely be ordered to repay at least some debt during your divorce, how those debts will affect your credit score will depend on what type of debt it is. If you are ordered to repay joint debt and you do not, it will negatively affect your credit score because your name is on that debt. On the other hand, if you are ordered to pay your spouse’s separate debt and you do not, it will not affect your credit score because your name is not on the debt. However, it is important to know that when that is the case, your former spouse can sue you to recover the portion of the debt the judge ordered you to pay.
How to Protect Your Credit During Divorce
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your credit when going through a divorce. The first step is to close any joint accounts you have with your spouse. This will protect your credit score if your former spouse refuses to pay what they owe. Also continue to monitor your credit cards and accounts to watch for unusual or suspicious activity. It is not uncommon for one spouse to take on more debt and make excessive purchases just before a divorce.
Our Florida Family Lawyers will Protect Your Rights During Divorce
There is a lot at stake when you are going through a divorce, and that includes your credit score. If you are going through a divorce, our Tampa family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A., can help. Our experienced attorneys will advise on all aspects of your divorce so your best interests are protected, and so you do not have to feel the impacts of the divorce for several years to come. When you need solid legal advice, call us at (813) 672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
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