When faced with the grisly reality of divorce, it is hard to keep focus on the ancillary consequences. Stress weighs on your shoulders like Atlas, holding up the world. You think with the clarity of an angry drunk. All of your hate is balled into a big, terrible fist, and the last thing you are contemplating is the impact on your credit score. It is conversation nobody wants and nobody thinks about. Yet as you worry about the big picture, the children and the house and the lawyers and the garden gnomes that were a gift from your grandmother but she refuses to part with amicably, in the background tiny details are burning away, details like your overall financial reputation in the banking community, smoldering away into a pile of ashen bits.
After all, if you have done as most married couples do and merged your financial portfolios, then a divorce merely signifies the end of a relationship. It does not mean you have separated yourself of this economic partnership. If your spouse acquired a sizable debt during your marriage, you are ultimately responsible. The key is to take measures before and after the divorce to ensure your credit is protected. If you have a joint account, rather than remove one of the party’s names and hope to heaven they pay you your half, you must dissolve all joint accounts and split the proceeds. Bank accounts, mutual funds, stocks and bonds, as well as any houses owned should be sold. You will be responsible for an unpaid mortgage if it is still under your name. If you have agreed on a person taking possession of an item, such as a car, remove the spouse’s name completely. All bills and obligations should be put in one name. Credit Cards with a balance on them should be split into two separate cards. All cash should be divided, and every transaction documented and signed.
After the divorce, it is an excellent idea to check your credit score every year. You can never be sure what hideous credit monstrosity is hiding under the floorboards, ready to crawl out and bite you in the ankle. By keeping an eye on your score, you can proactively put out any unwanted dangers. Sever your financial ties completely, creating a clear demarcation between the debt and finances before and after the divorce. Also, be sure to notify your creditors regarding the divorce. If you have canceled and separated previous debts, you are no longer required to pay for current ones.
In short, divorce, while a distressful and gruesome thing, can compound your troubles if you are not careful to extricate yourself completely. The leftover sewage from a marriage gone horribly wrong can linger for a lifetime, because separation of the heart while emotionally more significant, is meaningless in the eyes and almighty pen of the written law, where both your names are entwined like a spousal chimera in all aspects, until you legally file the procedures for them not to be.