is never easy and it brings many consequences for the people going through it. One of these consequences people do not consider is their credit score, and how it will be impacted during divorce. While sometimes, a divorce will hurt a credit score, there are ways to protect it so it is easier to move forward in your new life.
How Does Divorce Hurt Your Credit?
A divorce can hurt your credit in a number of ways. Many people feel the financial strain after a divorce because they are accustomed to living in a two-income household. When one of those incomes is no longer available, it is more difficult to make loan payments, pay bills, and more, which can ultimately hurt a person’s credit.
Additionally, during a divorce, a judge may decide that one spouse is responsible for paying debts owned jointly by the couple during property division hearings. If that happens and your spouse does not pay their portion of the payments, that will also hurt your credit score.
Steps to Take When Protecting Your Credit Score
There may not be anything you can do about some things that might hurt your credit score, such as if your spouse does not repay their debt. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to mitigate the damage done to your credit score during divorce:
- Live within your means: After a divorce, many people continue living the same way they did when married. Unfortunately, you may not be able to afford this. Create a budget and become committed to living within your means so you do not go into debt.
- Close joint accounts: When divorce becomes obvious, it is important to start severing financial ties with your spouse as soon as possible. Close all joint accounts in writing and instruct creditors not to reopen them.
- Remove your spouse from accounts: If your spouse is able to use your credit card accounts, ask a lawyer if you can remove them as an authorized user. This could be a problem if your spouse is dependent, so make sure you obtain legal advice before removing them.
- Put debts in your name only: If a judge decided that you were responsible for certain debts, make sure to put them in your name only. Transfer credit card balances to another card and refinance loans and then continue to make at least minimum payments on all debt.
- Do not rely on child support or maintenance: Try to pay for your own expenses out of your own money without relying on child support or maintenance. This way you will not be dependent on those payments and if your former spouse misses one, it will not cause the same concern.
Our Illinois Family Lawyers can Help with All Aspects of Your Divorce
You will need legal advice for many different elements of your case when going through a divorce. At the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, our experienced Hinsdale family lawyers can provide it no matter your situation. Call us today at 630-920-8855 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.