Divorce can be a painful, tedious process that takes its toll mentally and emotionally. However, divorce isn’t cheap and it’s important to consider how it will affect your finances, both immediate and in the future. Your credit report in large part dictates your future access to financial resources, so you need to do your best to protect it during divorce proceedings.
After the legal dealings with your spouse are finalized, try to establish a plan to deal with your mutual debts. You may need to sever as many financial ties as possible in order to protect your credit.
Keep in mind that any joint credit accounts - including a mortgage, auto loan or credit card - are reflected on both of your credit reports. This means you are both equally responsible for late or missed payments. For example, if you and your former spouse are both named on a credit card, and he or she claims ownership of it throughout the divorce proceedings, but at some point defaults on the payments: your credit report will also be tarnished and your credit score will drop.
If you haven’t done so before, obtain a copy of your credit report to determine which accounts are held jointly. Seek to have your name removed from debts that your ex-spouse will take over, but if this is not possible, keep a close eye on your credit report during this period to ensure the payments are being made.
Focus your energy on moving forward, now is the time to begin establishing credit in your own name. Strive to keep your finances in order and make it a priority to maintain good standing in the credit accounts you carry over from the divorce.