How To Protect Your Credit Score During a Divorce
As if a divorce isn’t emotionally and financially draining enough, did you know that this process can be even further damaging to you financially? When emotions run high, otherwise rational people can resort to some dirty tricks to make sure they are getting the upper hand during this process. It is in your best interests to protect yourself as well as protecting your credit score, the legacy you have worked so hard to build not only during your marriage, but before as well!
Early on, it is important to set boundaries. Real estate is likely going to be your biggest vulnerability, as it has the most impact on your resources and credit score if things are handled poorly. Being attached to your soon-to-be-former spouse leaves you wide open, so in the best interest of you both, selling the home will protect you. This removes any leverage your spouse has on making life harder, especially if they are living in the home and possibly delaying its sale. If both of you are out of the house and setting up your own households separately, this removes any temptation either of you might have to withhold property or wreak havoc with not paying a mortgage or causing damage you might be responsible for.
If one of you will be keeping the home, be sure to refinance it in that person’s name if this is allowed by the courts. This will put the responsibility of the loan onto the person still living in the home. Otherwise, after the divorce is finalized, even if your name is no longer on the title, it could still be on the loan, which makes you responsible for paying the mortgage.
With vehicles, the process is similar, with selling off the vehicle being the safest easiest solution. Refinancing the vehicles to each of you is an acceptable alternative solution, and if that isn’t viable, then setting up a time limit as to how long your spouse can keep the vehicle before you sell or refinance it is critical. Keeping in contact with your lender and letting them know what is going on will also give your options.
In a divorce, it is best to keep your accounts separate. Especially bank accounts, credit cards, and other debts which can continue to be run up without your consent are precarious situations to get into and need to be taken off the table as soon as possible. Before you do anything, be sure to consult your attorney so you aren’t in breach of any court orders.
Have more questions about how you can protect your credit score in the midst of a divorce? Feel free to contact us today!