Does My Ex Spouse's Credit Affect Mine?

Posted on August 05, 2016 08:55am
Does My Ex Spouse's Credit Affect Mine?

Does My Ex Spouse's Credit Affect Mine?

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 joint accounts.

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.
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