Many people going through a divorce wonder if their ex-spouse’s credit
will affect their future or their future financial decisions. While many
financial matters must be handled on a case-by-case basis, there are a
few guidelines that can help divorcing couples distinguish who will be
accountable for debts and how that will affect your credit report.
Who is responsible for debts?
According to statistics, about 48% of couples keep separate credit card
accounts while the remaining couples open joint accounts as an alternative.
Of course, situations can become more problematic for couples who opened
Marital debt is any debt that is incurred through the duration of the marriage.
The financial burden of credit card debt typically lies with the spouse
who opened that credit card account, but only if they are the sole account
holder. If married couples acquire debt during the marriage, both may
be held responsible for these debts after the divorce occurs.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if one spouse
is solely responsible for the credit card debt on a joint account, they
may be held exclusively responsible. Because these types of situations
can become highly complex, it is wise for couples contemplating divorce
to get in touch with seasoned legal representation right away.
What can affect your credit?
In short, each person always carries their own credit history. However,
when couples choose to apply for credit jointly, those accounts affect
the credit of both parties. If either spouse incurs a large amount of
debt on a joint account or is delinquent in making payments on a joint
debt, it will show up on both of your credit reports as long as both names
are on the account.
To protect your credit, consider closing joint accounts or removing your
name from joint accounts as soon as you know a divorce is happening. This
can protect you from incurring more shared debt. Do not make large purchases
on a joint credit account without telling your spouse and assume that
he/she will automatically be responsible for half – you could end
up with sole ownership of that debt after the divorce if a judge deems
that you are responsible.
It is also important to make sure that accounts with every lender (all
credit cards, mortgages, lines of credit, etc.) are properly dealt with
after the divorce, making sure that you are no longer associated with
debts for which you aren’t responsible and that they will no longer
appear on your credit history.
Seeking Divorce? Call McKinley Irvin Today.
If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce, we encourage you to get
in touch with an Oregon divorce lawyer as soon as possible. When you choose
to work with our team, we will examine every detail of your case and determine
which legal methods can help you obtain the most positive outcome.
To speak with a member of our team, call an Oregon divorce attorney at
McKinley Irvin today. We are ready to take your call.