How to Keep Your Divorce From Ruining Your Credit Score
Getting a divorce on Long Island, or anywhere else for that matter, doesn’t have a direct impact on your credit score by itself, however, your credit can be affected by common divorce issues like splitting up bank accounts or dividing debt. Here’s what to know about divorce and your credit score and how to get legal help from an experienced New York divorce attorney to minimize any impact your divorce will have on your credit.
You May Still Have Joint Accounts with Debt After Divorce
Unless you address all your and your spouse’s debts before the divorce, you may still share joint debts with your spouse. This is why having legal guidance prior to your divorce is so important. Ideally, you will be able to remove your name from debts that are in your and your spouse’s name or settle the debt in full before your divorce. An attorney can help you navigate this process so when the divorce is finalized, your name is no longer on any of the accounts that you formerly shared with your spouse. If you don’t settle these debts before the divorce, credit bureaus will still show joint accounts in both your and your spouse’s name.
What Happens If Your Spouse Doesn’t Pay Their Assigned Debt
In most cases, a New York divorce court will divide the debt that a married couple owes between the two spouses at the time of a divorce using equitable distribution laws. You are then responsible for paying your court-ordered debt and your spouse is responsible for paying theirs. However, if your spouse cannot afford to pay the debt or misses payments, these can still show up on your credit report. Credit bureaus do not take into account divorce decrees when assessing debt and will continue to show missed or late payments for both spouses.
How to Protect Your Credit During a Divorce
The best way to protect your credit during a divorce is to get clear on every debt that has your name attached to it and make sure those are paid on time or in full. You should run a complete credit report to identify any accounts that your spouse may have opened using your information and to get a picture of your overall debt responsibility. Then, make sure anything with your name on it — whether your spouse’s name is also attached — needs to be paid. Even if the court has assigned your spouse to take care of the debt, if your name is on it and your spouse doesn’t pay, you may still need to pay it off in order to prevent your credit score from going down.
You should check your credit reports often during and after the divorce to spot any potential issues that may arise with individual or joint accounts. If you aren’t sure your spouse will pay a joint account they were court-ordered to, you should check with the establishment regularly to ensure that no payments are missed or late. You should be able to obtain access to payment history if your name is also on the account.
If possible, maintaining a cordial or polite relationship with your spouse after the divorce is helpful. Some vindictive spouses will willingly trash their own credit to also trash their spouse’s credit after a divorce. If you can stay on good terms with your ex, there is a reduced likelihood of this happening.
When to Contact a Long Island Divorce Lawyer for Legal Help to Protect Your Credit During & After Divorce
Navigating the divorce process is difficult, particularly when it comes to financial matters. It’s important that you have someone on your side who can help guide you through the process of dissolving your marriage and dealing with the separation of joint accounts and debt division. Ideally, you should contact an attorney as early as possible in your divorce, either before you file or as soon as you learn your spouse wants to get a divorce.
Call Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today for more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss your divorce by dialing 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form on this page. Our veteran legal team can help you understand New York divorce law, how it applies to your case, and what legal moves are or are not in your family’s best interests. We are available now to provide you with the legal assistance you need.
SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION TODAY
Call 631-923-1910 or fill in the form below
Schedule your complimentary consultation and case evaluation with our experienced attorneys today. When you call, you’ll speak to our friendly Client Services Director, who will be able to answer your general questions and set up your appointment with an attorney who specializes in your unique case.
At your meeting, your attorney will describe the many options available and determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this meeting we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.
No Cost or Obligation
There is no cost or obligation for this initial consultation. It is simply an opportunity for us to get to know each other, answer your questions and learn if Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. is right the right law firm for you. Give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form below to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation.
All Fields Are Required