How credit, debt and divorce are related


With the myriad issues related to divorce, it is understandable for certain ones to fall through the cracks, at least in your mind. It is difficult for anyone to keep everything organized and "in line" given the emotional toll a divorce takes on you and the many topics that it covers.

That said, two related issues involved with divorce that everyone should be considering (but often goes unnoticed) are credit and debt. When a couple files for divorce, any joint accounts that they were using during their marriage will need to be dealt with and closed. Legally speaking, this means the two of them will accept and sign a divorce agreement that spells out which spouse is responsible for each piece of debt. Obviously, then, the accounts would be closed when they are up to date.

However, not every spouse that goes through a divorce is on top of their finances, and as a result, some debt may go unpaid. In these circumstances, the other spouse -- the one that isn't supposed to be responsible for the debt -- can get roped into the debt-paying problem. Since they were joint members of the account, both ex-spouses are on the hook for it, even if a divorce decree says one spouse is responsible.

In other words, your credit score can be "dinged" as a result of your former husband or wife failing to fulfill his or her legal obligations.

Make sure you adequately address your debts and your credit in your divorce agreement; and then if any problems arise down the road, consult with your family law attorney to ensure the situation is being handled properly.

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