Does a Divorce Decree Protect your Credit Scores?

A divorce decree does not divorce you from your current debts. Attorneys will tell you that you are not responsible for a particular debt per a divorce decree, but what they fail to mention is that you legally are if the debt is in your name. A creditor could care less about what your divorce decree says.

After all you signed the papers with that creditor before the divorce. A credit card that is a joint account means that you and your ex-spouse are both responsible for that account until it’s paid in full. You are also responsible for any fees the credit card company charges.

Let’s assume you go along with the decree and forget about a credit card that your decree states your ex-spouse is obligated to pay. Your ex-spouse decides not to pay this creditor for some reason. Guess what will happen? There are two serious situations about to take place. The first really bad situation is your credit scores just got destroyed. Secondly you will be getting calls from either the creditor or a collection company down the road.

There is a proper way to draw up a divorce decree. The best way to go about this process is to make sure joint debts are dissolved, sold and closed. This will assure that your credit score will be protected from what an ex spouse does with joint debts.

Good Divorce Practices to protect your score:

•    Sell your house- if you have a house you bought together sell it. Make sure you sell it before the divorce is final.
•    If you have joint credit cards, pay them off and close them before divorce is final.
•    Close and pay off any type of joint loan before divorce is final

Remember that a divorce decree will not erase the debt you have acquired while married. What your spouse does with joint accounts after marriage will affect your credit score down the road. This is especially true when they don’t pay a debt on-time or charge up a debt like a joint credit card.

This issue of divorce and joint debt is ramped. It’s a major problem because attorneys don’t explain the long term affects of joint accounts after a divorce is final.

If you have found yourself in this most unfortunate situation, make sure you get all joint debts that you are not responsible for out of your name. A divorce decree does not protect your credit score.

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Disclaimer: This information has been compiled and provided by as an informational service to the public. While our goal is to provide information that will help consumers to manage their credit and debt, this information should not be considered legal advice. Such advice must be specific to the various circumstances of each person's situation, and the general information provided on these pages should not be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.