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How does divorce affect your credit?

Luckily, divorce does not directly impact your credit. It is not a reportable event on your credit score, like a missed payment or bankruptcy. But, the effects of divorce can damage your credit, if not handled properly. This post will go over what can happen and how you can protect yourself.

Usually, during a marriage, the spouses take out joint credit cards and accounts. When you divorce, it is normal for each of you to assign assets and liabilities (debts). That means that one of you agrees to pay off credit card A and the other will handle credit card B.

But what happens if your spouse fails to make payments on credit card B and the credit card company sends you a notice seeking to collect? Are you bound to make payments? Your first instinct is probably to direct them to your divorce decree. Unfortunately, you would be wrong.

When you assumed the "joint" debts, that meant each of you agreed to pay back the credit card company. Therefore, the credit card company may seek repayments from either of you, regardless of your divorce decree. The divorce decree, however, grants you the right to seek repayment from your spouse for failure to uphold their obligations under the divorce.

Divorce, even property division which may seem straightforward, is remarkably complex. It isn't enough to finish the divorce and wash your hands of it. You are required to ensure that it is enforced continually. You may want to consult with a lawyer to make sure that your ex-spouse is fulfilling all of their obligations, including support and paying debts.

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