You and your spouse agree to share finances when you get married. Some people even check the credit score of the person they think they want to spend the rest of their lives with before getting engaged. While good financial decisions in the past can be an indicator of smart practices, it’s no guarantee of ethical or responsible behavior in the future.
If you know your spouse will be angry about you filing for divorce, protecting yourself is likely a top priority in your upcoming divorce. The same is true when dealing with a spouse who has a gambling issue or who has engaged in an extramarital affair.
Trying to damage your credit on purpose or unintentionally dragging down your credit score through bad decisions could be a way that your ex limits your opportunities for years to come. Do you have to worry about them destroying your credit once you file for divorce?
Your joint accounts are a risk factor until you close them
Any accounts that you opened jointly with your spouse or that you co-signed for represent debts that could affect your credit score. You and your spouse have to figure out a way to split up both your debts and your assets in your divorce.
If you want your spouse to take responsibility for their debts, there are some methods that are safer than others. Having your spouse refinance the debt or transfer the balance of a shared card to one only in their name will be safer than just requiring that they pay off certain accounts.
Until the company closes the account or the balance comes down to zero, your ex missing payments could affect your credit score. You could even face civil action by a creditor despite having a divorce decree making the account your ex’s responsibility.
Keep track of your credit
It may take months if not a year to fully resolve your divorce. You may want to track your credit and reach out to the credit bureaus to notify them of changes and inaccuracies.
Being proactive by looking for issues like missed payments can help you address issues before they drag down your credit score. You may need to factor minimum payment for shared accounts into your budget until everything is truly separate.
Being realistic about the financial and credit implications of a pending divorce can help you lay the foundation for a better future.