Going through a divorce can take both an emotional and financial toll on a person. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there are about 3 divorces for every thousand people. Along with going through the emotional hardship of divorce, you have to worry how this event will affect your finances. Finances might be the last thing on your mind during a divorce, but it is important to be aware of a few things.
What shows up on your credit history
As you are going through a divorce, you should know that you are responsible for your debts. Credit agencies do not have joint files for married couples. Even though you might have had consolidated checking or saving accounts, a credit report will still monitor this as independent activity. Keep in mind, however, that any account which you have cosigned or been designated an authorized user on will show up on your report. But when it comes to joint accounts, that situation is a little different.
How divorce affects joint accounts
It's important to be aware that going through a divorce does not directly affect your credit or credit score. Marital status is not a factor in determining your credit worth, but it can indirectly affect your finances. Many couples have joint financial accounts, like a shared credit card or the mortgage you pay on a house. If your name is on one of these accounts, you will still be responsible for repaying the debt. If your spouse is late with a payment or gets into financial trouble on any shared account, you will still be held accountable.
Once you have begun the process of separating from your spouse, it's important to understand the basics of the divorce decree, which is a legal ruling of the termination of a marriage. This document contains information about alimony, property division, child support and any other distribution of goods. This will also have information on how credit accounts will be divided up. The divorce decree does not change the financial obligations you owe to creditors. The decree might say one spouse is responsible for a joint account, but the decree does not stop a credit company from seeking collection from either spouse.