It is difficult to start over once your divorce is finalized. This is especially the case for starting over financially. Read on to discover how you can protect your credit after your divorce and how a seasoned Bergen County divorce attorney at McNerney & McAuliffe can guide you toward financial independence.
How can I protect my credit after my divorce?
It must first be mentioned that even though you are separating from your spouse, this does not necessarily mean that your finances will automatically be separated as well. That is, you will still hold the responsibility of handling your joint debt with your spouse even after your divorce is finalized. So, if you and your spouse co-signed a credit card, you are legally liable for the debts incurred on the card. Notably, your divorce decree will not appear on your credit report and therefore will not affect your agreements with any lenders or card issuers. Ultimately, your spouse’s debt can hurt your credit score indefinitely.
That said, below is a comprehensive approach you can take for your handling your joint debts and accounts:
- Document all the financial obligations you and your spouse incurred during your marriage (mortgages, credit card accounts, medical bills, student loans, etc).
- Outline what you owe for each account, whose name is on each account, and whether any of them are past due.
- Decide whether you can pay off these joint accounts together or if you must convert them to individual accounts and designate them accordingly.
How else can I protect my credit after my divorce?
The idea that your spouse may intentionally attempt to ruin your finances after your divorce may seem inconceivable, but it is still best to take the proper precautions. So, below is a list of ways you can protect your credit with your fresh start:
- Open a checking account in your own name and start depositing your paychecks into that account.
- Build your own credit by applying for a low-limit credit card and gradually increasing the limit.
- Change your PINs on your debit cards and the passwords on all your bank accounts.
- Ensure that your spouse cannot easily guess the answers to the security questions for your bank accounts.
- Update your address with creditors and financial institutions.
For more information on how to become financially independent after your divorce, you must seek the guidance of a competent Bergen County family law attorney at your earliest convenience.
CONTACT OUR EXPERIENCED NEW JERSEY FIRM
If you require the legal assistance of an attorney to help you through a criminal law matter, personal injury matter, family law matter, or otherwise, contact McNerney & McAuliffe today.