Being careful to protect credit in a divorce

On Behalf of | May 19, 2020 | Family Law And Divorce

In Indiana, credit is very important when it comes to starting life again after the divorce. It may be necessary to buy or rent a home. However, many people report that their credit score can drop by 50 points or more in a divorce. It is not the divorce itself that harms credit but what happens during the divorce that can drop a score.

The biggest risk to credit that someone faces during a divorce is that the other spouse runs up debts in their name. They then end up stuck having to repay these debts, which can negatively impact their credit score. In order to avoid this, some vigilance upfront is necessary. One should pull credit reports and inventory every account that they have jointly with their spouse that could lead to this type of situation. As soon as possible, they should begin the process of separating the accounts.

This could mean removing authorized users from the account or paying off the debt so that the account is closed. The best way to do this effectively is through negotiation with the other spouse. However, there are times when acting unilaterally is necessary. If the situation is contentious and unpredictable, one may be advised to put a freeze on their credit in order to prevent new debts from being incurred in their name.

When debt is an issue in divorce, a person may need the services of a family law attorney to help protect them from a situation where they end up stuck with debt that was incurred in their name. The attorney might be proactive in recommending ways to protect their client. They may also help negotiate the divorce agreement to achieve a reasonable split of the debt that does not leave their client encumbered for life.