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How to protect credit in a divorce

On Behalf of | May 19, 2020 | Divorce

Many things are on the line in an Alabama divorce, including one’s credit. The risk to credit score comes from the fact that one spouse can run up debts in the other’s name. Some people who have been through a divorce reported that their credit scores dropped by over 50 points during the process.

In order to know where they are vulnerable, a person needs to know all of their credit accounts, especially the ones that are held jointly with the other spouse. To do this, individuals can request credit reports from each of the three major reporting bureaus and inventory all of the accounts listed. It is best to take steps to separate these accounts as soon as possible. If it means simply closing the account, a person should do so at the soonest opportunity. It is preferable to do this in coordination with the other spouse, but that is not always possible.

Another way to be proactive is to communicate the situation to creditors so that they are able to make a notation in their files. One may be able to negotiate some sort of forbearance while the divorce unfolds. Finally, depending on the severity of the situation, a person may want to consider placing an absolute freeze on their credit. While this is a drastic option, it is also a way of achieving a stronger degree of protection.

A divorce attorney may assist their client with a strategy designed to help them preserve their credit. If the other spouse has incurred more debt while the divorce is pending, the attorney may be able to negotiate a separation agreement that reflects the debt situation and protects their client from being saddled with that debt. Finally, the attorney might suggest changes to the division of the marital estate to account for the debt that their client must assume.


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