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Divorce requires disentangling joint financial obligations

Many Texas individuals will agree that in addition to the emotional upheaval of legally ending a marriage, separating couples must also face various practical issues for which important decisions must be made. Most people know about the need to discuss topics during the divorce process such as living arrangements, financial obligations and child custody. However, sometimes, divorcing individuals do not think to consider how the divorce will impact their credit. Those who fail to do so can suffer from a negative effect on their credit score, so it is important to know what can be done now to avoid a financial mess later.

A person’s marital status in itself will not hurt his or her credit. However, divorcing couples who have joint debt or accounts could experience financial complications, including unwanted debt, if they do not put in the work to disentangle themselves from such joint obligations during the divorce process. Courts issue a divorce decree which specifically states division of marital debts and assets, including who is responsible for each debt payment. Unfortunately, creditors will not honor a divorce decree, meaning if the spouse deemed responsible for a particular debt fails to make payments, both parties will suffer consequences in their credit scores. As well, it is important to know that if a divorced couple has a joint credit card and a disgruntled ex-spouse uses it to make multiple charges, the other party is equally responsible for the debt.

In light of this information, divorcing individuals are smart to employ a few strategies to avoid damage to their credit rating. For example, experts suggest closing all joint credit cards and removing a spouse’s name as an authorized user on any individually owned cards. In addition, as much as possible, ex-spouses should strive to work together toward separating joint accounts where possible, such as one person refinancing a joint mortgage in his or her name only.

Typically, divorce requires individuals to endure a great deal of stress while they deal with a multitude of important issues. Individuals involved in the divorce process are expected to make decisions that will affect their lives for many years, and attention to detail is necessary to increase the chance they will enjoy a happy and secure future. A knowledgeable Texas family law attorney can help divorcing individuals make such important decisions by providing sound legal advice.