Credit must be protected in a divorce

On Behalf of | May 22, 2020 | Divorce, High-Asset Divorce and Property Division |

A divorced spouse in Texas may find that their credit score has dropped by 50 points or more. However, there’s no separate credit grading category for divorcees that causes this to happen. This change in creditworthiness is usually created by the apportionment of debt after the divorce as well as ramifications on credit accounts.

Post-divorce credit issues can largely be prevented with some forethought and education. It’s important to learn early which credit accounts may be affected by the divorce. These are the trouble spots where one spouse can incur debt in a joint account that both are responsible for paying. The best response is to begin the process of separating accounts, even before the divorce agreement is signed. However, this would require some negotiation and cooperation between the two spouses. This is not always possible, so it may be best to act unilaterally to protect one’s interests.

It’s also helpful to communicate with creditors during this time. While this may not alleviate the responsibility to pay off the debt, it can lead to forbearance that can preserve a credit score. As a last resort, one should consider placing a freeze on their credit if they’re worried that the other spouse may open up new accounts in their name that can wreck their credit.

In a high-asset divorce, debt may be even more of an issue because the couple could have numerous debts that go along with their property. A divorce attorney could protect a client’s financial interests and make sure that they are in the best position possible after the separation. Legal counsel could negotiate a divorce agreement that hopefully results in a manageable debt load.