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Protecting your credit score during divorce

Divorce can impact a person's finances in many ways, and many couples wonder how divorce will impact their credit. The good news is that divorce does not specifically impact a person's credit score because each spouse has their own individual credit report and score, regardless of if the couple had joint accounts.

Spouses who are thinking about getting divorced or have already filed for divorce should make sure they understand the implications divorce has on their credit report. While experts say that divorce does not affect a person's credit report, there are steps people getting divorced should take to protect their credit rating and financial security after divorce.

The first step someone getting divorced should take is getting a copy of their credit report to check for any errors or inaccuracies. It is important to review what debts are in your name and if there are any joint accounts shared with your future ex that you are not aware of.

Individuals should remove their spouse from having access to their credit card to protect themselves from racking up more debt before the divorce is finalized. Individuals should also separate any shared accounts as soon as possible to help ease the process of separating finances after the divorce.

One of the biggest challenges for some couples is dividing their debt and figuring out who will be responsible to pay that debt after the divorce. Even though the divorce decree may stipulate who is responsible for paying the debt, both parties are still legally responsible and if one spouse does not pay as agreed upon, the other spouse can still be held accountable to pay back the debt.

It is important for divorcing couples to make keep these considerations in mind and work with a divorce attorney to discuss what steps to take to protect their financial future.

Source: Dough Roller, "How to Protect Your Credit During a Divorce," Abby Hayes, March 24, 2013

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