Divorce & Credit: Here’s What You Need to Know

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Divorce is always an unpleasant subject to broach, but it is important to understand all of the ways that divorce will affect your life moving forward. When going through divorce proceedings, finances are always discussed, but individuals may forget to take their credit into account.

The important thing to note is that a divorce filing will not directly affect your credit score. However, it is possible for a divorce to indirectly impact your credit score. There are a few things you need to keep your eye out for.

 

Make Sure Your Spouse Pays Joint Debts

It’s likely that during the course of your marriage, you created joint accounts with your ex-spouse. The most common joint debt are mortgages and credit cards. Once you receive your divorce decree, you’ll know exactly what your spouse is responsible for paying. It is likely that the ruling will require your ex spouse to take over entire payments for debts that your name will still be on. It will be on you to make sure that the debts that are actually being paid. No matter who is supposed to be making the payments, a missed payment on any account that is attached to your name will have a direct hit on your credit score.

In a best case scenario, the relationship between you and your ex will be amicable enough to ensure that you don’t have to worry about (intentional) missed payments. However, if that is not the case, you should take on the responsibility of the payments in order to save your own credit.

 

Watch Out For Your Credit Accounts

In the unfortunate scenario that the relationship with your ex-spouse it not a healthy one, you should be actively watching any joint credit accounts that exist between the two of you. If your ex was an authorized user on any of the credit cards that you share, they can quite literally rack up all of your credit cards without any legal repercussions. This would be self-sabotage on their end, but it would hurt your credit score all the same.

 

There is not much that can be done to remove each other from accounts that were open together. But, remove your ex spouse from any individual accounts that you have where they were added on as an authorized user as soon as possible.

For more information, see the following resources: NerdWallet & Experian.