Managing Credit Post-Divorce: A Basic Guide

Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences anyone will undergo during their lifetime. With the complexities that are deeply sown into the legal separation process, seeking freedom from a union that doesn’t work is easier said than done. Whether the process takes a few months or a few years, various aspects of one’s life can be greatly shifted within an instant.

Based on what we all know now about the divorce process, it’s crucial to expect all sorts of complications ranging from paperwork to estate changes. In your case, you’ve most likely been dedicating the time to research what you need to account for as you continue to consult with your attorney. 

Amid all that’s going on in your separation, chances are you’ve got one question in mind: Will I have enough money to provide for myself (and children) post divorce?

The Effect of Divorce on Your Finances

Divorces are regarded as one of the costliest processes because of the separation it entails in terms of assets and equity. Of course, this is a major consideration for anyone looking to protect their finances and ensure they live a comfortable life post-marriage. 

One key factor that most soon-to-be ex-spouses should consider is what may happen to their credit. And while a shift in your marital status doesn’t directly impact your credit, a decrease in your credit score is still possible because there will be differences in your household income and other financial obligations. 

How Getting Divorced Affects Your Credit

Getting a divorce affects various financial factors, such as your finances and debt. The problem is that many parties fail to account for the effects that will lead them to fall behind on their bills. 

The divorce process doesn’t automatically split up the credit you and your former spouse built during the marriage. What this means is that while your debts are assigned as part of your divorce decree, lenders can still hold you liable for them while reporting the following information to credit bureaus: 

  • Late payments
  • High credit utilization
  • Negative activity history
  • Other negative items related to your credit history

Note that there are some caution points to watch out for if your ex-spouse agrees to make payments on a joint account. If they fail to make payments in a timely manner, it can show up on your credit report in addition to theirs. Also, if your ex-spouse defaults on the repayment of your joint debts, then you are jointly responsible for settling it. 

Tips For Better Post-Divorce Credit Management and Financial Planning

To help ensure that you manage and resolve your joint debts and credit accounts in the best way possible, here’s a quick rundown of some best practices worth following: 

  • Close or Separate Existing Joint Accounts: One way to protect your credit after a divorce is to pay off and close joint accounts. If this process isn’t possible, you can ask your financial institution to convert your joint accounts into individual accounts while removing your ex-spouse as a holder or user.
  • Build A Plan and Stick With It: Before you separate from your spouse, create a plan to take stock of your joint credit accounts, loans, and other bills to establish who deals with what. This plan should also include a rundown of how your existing assets will be divided while determining how much you contributed to an account respectively.
  • Enlist the Help of a Wealth Manager: Another valuable practice that any divorcee should take to protect their credit is to consult with a financial advisor to guide them on what they need to do. With the help of a certified divorce professional at Calamita Wealth Management, you’ll be able to better stay on top of your accounts during and after divorce.

Conclusion

Divorce can be extremely difficult, even more so when it comes to the financial challenges involved. With proper guidance and post-separation practices, you can protect your credit, sort out your accounts, and rebuild your financial standing.

Calamita Wealth Management is a certified financial planner in Charlotte, NC. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can prepare yourself personally and financially for life post divorce!