Divorces can be traumatic not only for your mental health, but also for your financial health. Many parties to a divorce often find themselves facing a substantial amount of debt and a diminished credit score after a split. Some costs are simply unavoidable, but there are ways to prevent excess injury to your credit score that can occur during a divorce. Read on to learn about common sources of credit damage during a divorce, and ways you can lessen their impact on your own credit score.
- Your ex stops paying joint bills
It’s a common story: an account such as a car loan, credit card, or even mortgage payment is allocated to one spouse during a division of property, but that spouse stops making timely payments on the account at some point. Finding out as soon as possible that this has happened will help prevent unpaid bills from having too great of an impact on your credit. Call the financial institutions that hold any debts which include your name that your ex is paying and request that they either send you a statement each month, or check the account regularly online. If the accounts do fall behind and your spouse refuses to pay, it may be in your best interests to contact your attorney about requesting that the court intervene to compel your spouse to pay.
- Both spouses’ names are still listed on accounts or assets that now belong only to one
Over the course of a long marriage, you may have opened financial accounts about which you completely forgot in the meantime. It is possible your spouse has not forgotten them, and may have continued to accrue debts in both your names for which you will be held responsible. Take careful inventory of all your financial documents to discover all accounts, close or consolidate those you can, and check to see when they were last used.
- Your spouse charged up debts in your name, or drained joint accounts
If your divorce is particularly combative, your ex may have taken the drastic and vengeful step of secreting money out of joint accounts before you could notice or intervene. It is also not unheard of for exes to use their former spouse’s name and personal information to open lines of credit in their name, which they then use to rack up debt. If funds are missing from a joint account, speak with your attorney about documentation you might be able to use to show that your spouse took the funds. Also, keep an extra-close eye on your credit score after a split, to catch any newly-opened accounts before excessive debts mount.
If you need knowledgeable, aggressive legal assistance for your Virginia divorce, contact the family law attorneys at Pack Law Group for a consultation at 540-586-7225.