When you are going through a divorce, issues like child custody, alimony, child support and property division likely come to mind. While these are all important aspects of the divorce, it is necessary to delve a little bit deeper into the property division aspect to fully understand just how much your future can be affected by a divorce. The way the divorce might affect your credit is one of these aspects that our Florida readers should consider.
It is vital for anyone who is going through a divorce to know that the divorce decree doesn't mean anything to a creditor. In legal terms, just because your ex was ordered to pay off a debt doesn't mean that you won't be held liable for the debt if it was a joint debt. You might wonder how this is possible. The answer is simple. A divorce is a civil order between the ex-spouses and not between the spouses and the creditor. Because of that caveat, you can be held liable for the payments your ex misses on an account that was a joint account.
When you get a divorce, the money owed for joint accounts is still your responsibility. If you choose to move to an individual account with your creditors, they might make you reapply for credit based on your new circumstances. This can mean that you are denied credit or have different terms than those on the joint account.
As you can see, a divorce can have an effect on your credit long after the decree is finalized. Because of this, you should work to understand what options you have to protect your credit after the divorce since you likely don't want your ex to ruin your credit years down the road.
Source: FindLaw, "Credit and Divorce" Nov. 02, 2014