Most states view debts, as well as assets, acquired during a marriage as shared property, and they are divided similarly. If possible, you and your ex-spouse may be better served by dividing the debts up, with each different debt assigned to a single person. If you can’t agree, a judge will do so.
While the responsibility of debts between divorcing parties is clearly defined by the courts, creditors don’t see it the same way. Your credit can be damaged if it is still tied to your ex-spouse’s. These steps can help you protect your credit after a divorce:
- Alert all creditors that any debts belonging to you be put in your name only
- Close all shared accounts, including credit cards
- Refinance shared loans, including auto and home loans, to a single creditor
- Monitor your credit report closely
- Make all loan payments on time, and minimize new credit attempts
Failure to fully separate your debts from an ex-spouse can have far-reaching impact on your credit report. If they fail to pay off credit cards or default on a loan, you can be impacted if you haven’t fully extricated yourself from them financially.
If it does occur that your ex-spouse’s failure to pay their share of debts has impacted your financial standing, you can file a dispute with the credit bureau. The court can also compel them to pay. If they are found in contempt, you can also request compensation for attorney’s fees.
Financial matters related to divorce are complicated and can have far-reaching impacts. Make certain you have a family law attorney to protect your best interests. In Florida, assets you and your spouse own will be divided equitably, but not necessarily in a 50-50 split. Attorney Russell Spatz gives clients comprehensive guidance about how to approach the division of their assets. He will listen to your concerns and provide honest advice about the best options available to you. You can rest assured knowing he will never keep you in the dark about the progress of your case.
Niemeyer, Brooke. “Why Your Ex Is Still on Your Credit Report.” USA Today. Gannett, 29 May 2016. Web. 31 May 2016.