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The Effect of Divorce on Your Credit

The effect of divorce on your credit

Today’s blog will feature you as the main character in a hypothetical divorce that you may (or may not) be going through. The purpose of trying to teach you all something through a story is that I understand financial discussions can be hard to follow at times and, at the very least, are not all that interesting. However, this is an important subject matter that I believe you should know something about before entering into a divorce.

Having a divorce attorney who is as good a teacher as an advocate is not usually discussed when you are decided to hire an attorney, either. Hopefully, you will learn something today that will help you move forward with your divorce. If you have questions about credit, divorce, or any subject in family law, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC.

An Illustration of the Importance of Credit in Your Divorce

Picture this: after your divorce, you find out that your ex-husband hasn’t paid the balances on four joint credit card accounts, contrary to the divorce decree’s orders. Believing the decree frees you from this responsibility, you proactively reach out to the creditors. However, they quickly clarify that they don’t recognize the divorce agreement, and your name remains tied to the debt. This stark reality dawns on you as you notice late fees and missed payments accumulating on your credit report due to these unsettled balances.

Faced with a critical decision, you can either settle these debts yourself to safeguard your credit rating or hire an attorney to enforce the divorce decree, pressing your ex-spouse to fulfill his financial obligations. This scenario underscores the intricate relationship between divorce decrees and personal credit duties, emphasizing an essential lesson: actively monitor and address joint financial matters, even post-divorce.

Credit – An Underappreciated and Essential Aspect of Any Texas Divorce

Issues related to credit are not typically at the top of any spouse’s shortlist as they discuss a potential divorce with an attorney.

After having done many, many consultations with potential clients of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, I can say that very few people ever discuss debts/credit unless I first bring it up. There are, of course, issues to be decided in a divorce that is more important than your credit, but it is nonetheless essential in its own right.

Individual Credit Accounts

Remember, in Texas, you might become responsible for your spouse’s debts after divorce. If your spouse opens a credit card in his name and incurs obligations benefiting only him, will the court assign this debt to you in the divorce?

Not likely. However, a divorce divides debts, and you must allocate obligations justly and appropriately, considering your case’s specific circumstances. Consequently, your spouse’s individual debts could show up on your credit report, and yours on theirs.

Suppose you were to open up a credit card in your name only (an individual account). In that case, the benefit for you is that if you are not working outside the home or do not have a considerable income, it could be difficult for you to earn credit on your own without the assistance of your spouse.

On the other hand, if you open up an account in your name only and do not allow your spouse access to that account, only your actions can negatively affect your credit in those circumstances. You bear all the responsibility for paying on that account- which if you are responsible, having a plan and sticking to a budget may be a good thing for you.

The effect of divorce on your credit

Joint Credit Accounts

In your marriage, if you attempt to open up a joint account, a creditor will look at your income, your financial assets, and your credit history- as well as those of your spouse.

In many marriages, one spouse will take the role of the financial nerd, keeping up dutifully with the bills. At the same time, the other is the economic free spirit- earning money and spending it but doing little to chart the family’s financial course.

This rule applies to your family too: you must take responsibility for any debts incurred on jointly held credit accounts with your name. When you and your spouse apply for credit together, creditors often find you more appealing than either of you individually. However, securing credit from a creditor also means accepting responsibility for repaying the debt. Observe the banks in their lobbies or the financial district buildings in Houston.

Their structures often surpass your home in grandeur, and their furniture outshines what you own. Why is this relevant? These lenders thrive on the interest you pay on loans. Remember this when your spouse suggests taking out a joint loan during your marriage.

Pay Attention to Your Credit Accounts

As you move towards divorce, actively pull your credit report and examine it. You must ensure the payment of joint accounts during the divorce, and don’t rely on your spouse’s goodwill for this.

You might sign temporary orders assigning a spouse to handle debt payments, but this arrangement often doesn’t materialize in the early stages of a divorce. Proactively negotiate with your spouse to keep paying those debts, regardless of explicit court orders. Protecting your credit and securing your financial recovery post-divorce depends on this vigilance.

Questions about credit and divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

The effect of divorce on your credit

On behalf of the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, I would like to thank you for showing an interest in this topic. Again, your credit may not be a top concern of yours as you head into a divorce, but I can assure you it is essential and will impact your life in tangible ways whether you like it or not. Protecting it before, during, and after a divorce is key to your future success.

If you have questions about anything you’ve read today, please contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. We offer free of charge consultations six days a week with one of our licensed family law attorneys.

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  1. Credit Accounts and their effect on your divorce
  2. Handling the issue of credit card debt during your divorce
  3. How are Credit Cards Handled in a Texas Divorce?
  4. How credit cards and debts are handled in a Texas Divorce
  5. Debts, Credit Cards and Divorce in Texas
  6. What Happens to Marital Debt During a Texas Divorce?
  7. Know-How Property and Debts are Divided When Preparing for Your Texas Divorce
  8. What Happens to Marital Debt During a Texas Divorce?
  9. Dividing Property in a Texas Divorce – The Just and Right Division
  10. Why is Separate Property Important and How to Keep it Separate in a Texas Divorce?
  11. What Wikipedia Can’t Tell you About Texas Divorce and Marital Property Division
  12. Texas Divorce Property Division Enforcement
  13. Separate Property in a Texas Divorce?
  14. Does it Matter Whose Name is on Title or Deed of Property in a Divorce in Texas?

Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s essential to speak with one of our Houston, TX, Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyers in Houston, TX, are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.

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