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How can the aftermath of a divorce affect one's credit?

When a couple in Gig Harbor decides to end their marriage, they may naturally be concerned with how their property will be divided, who will have child custody and whether they will be paying child support or spousal support. What they may not be thinking of initially though, is how their divorce might affect their credit score.

The good news is that the act of getting a divorce in and of itself may not directly lead to a negative credit score. However, how a couple deals with shared finances after a divorce could affect their individual credit scores.

First of all, it is important to understand that it is not just property that is divided in a divorce. Debts will also be divided in a divorce. But, a divorce decree does not trump the original loan.

Unless spouses take the appropriate actions to have the debt placed in one spouse's name only, the account will remain shared, even if the divorce decree states that only one spouse was to be responsible for the debt after their divorce. Therefore, if that spouse fail to make payments, it could affect both the credit of that spouse and their ex.

So, what can an individual do if his or her ex fails to hold up his or her end of the divorce decree with regards to paying back debts? If an individual's ex stops making the appropriate contributions to the couple's shared debts, it may be possible in some cases to pursue a lawsuit. Pursuing a lawsuit may not protect an individual from the initial drop in his or her credit scores.

In the end, after a divorce there are a number of steps an individual can take to increase their credit score. If an individual discovers an error in his or her credit report, it can be disputed. In addition, an individual can try to pay down their highest debt first and then work down from there. Finally, an individual can avoid opening new lines of credit, at least for a while.

Getting a divorce does not necessarily have to sabotage one's financial future. With the right help, individuals pursuing a divorce can take steps to protect their credit.

Source: Credit.com, "Does Getting a Divorce Hurt Your Credit?," accessed on July 2, 2016

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