How Debt after a Divorce will affect your Credit Score

We all know how important it is to have as high a Credit Score these days. Especially since your credit score is no longer a secret anymore. Divorce is all too common in today’s society, and when Divorce Decrees are drawn up, the attorney forgets to make sure debts that are joint accounts are only in the person’s name that is awarded that debt per the decree. Typically what the divorce decree will say is whom is awarded what debt. Here is how this is a problem.

How debts after divorce will affect you:
Let’s assume while you were married you and your significant other had accumulated some debt that are joint accounts. This means that both of your social security numbers are attached to the obligations and its being reported to all 3 credit bureaus. So once day you both decide to get a divorce and the attorney works up a Divorce Decree like they normally do, which of course is the wrong way. Both of you go on your marry way, and the other party decided to be late on a obligation that is reporting in your name still. Guess what happens to your credit score. Your score just dropped 150 points. This is a common problem, and of course now it’s your problem even though you have a debt that was awarded to the other party per decree. Let’s assume it’s a house, and your ex decides to let the house go to foreclosure. Now you cannot buy a home for 3 years because you have a foreclosure on your credit report. So basically a divorce decree is a agreement between divorcing couples, it does not separate liabilities.

What you need to do so you’re Credit Score is not affected:
Divorcing couples should never rely on the other spouse to pay bills that were awarded to them per Decree. This is a disaster waiting to happen. These type of issues need to be tackled up front so there is no issues once the divorce is final. If you have already made this huge mistake, my suggestion would be to go back to court and get these debts out of your name. If there is a house involved, I would recommend getting the house refinanced out your name or sold depending on the situation. Obviously if the spouse is behind on the mortgage they would not be able to refinance due to the credit situation. In a situation where the ex spouse is behind on the mortgage and its affecting your credit report, I would recommend going back to court and taking over the mortgage payment along with having the house awarded back to you. The solution to all of this is simple; make sure you don’t have debts in your name that gets awarded to ex spouse. Don’t let your ex spouse ruin your credit. If you have already made the mistake, I would recommend pulling a recent copy of your credit report with credit scores to make sure there is no damage done.

Author: Mike Clover

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