Steven Fernandez |

Debts, Finances, Property Division

How Can a Divorce Affect My Credit?During a divorce, your resources of time, money and patience will deplete. Because of this, it is easy to overlook a few late payments here and there.

Similarly, if your spouse has been ordered to pay for certain bills during and/or after the divorce, you could be subject to the consequences of them not following that order.

For example, if your spouse is ordered to pay temporary spousal support during divorce proceedings, and they fail to pay certain payments, your credit could be affected, regardless of who’s responsibility it was to pay the bills.

In this respect, it is easy for your credit to be affected during the divorce, simply because you may not be making all the household payments anymore and may not be aware of late payments. Similarly, if your spouse is ordered to pay certain bills after the divorce as part of the settlement or a spousal support award, as long as your name is still on the debt, your credit rating will be affected by their financial actions.

To ensure your credit is secure in the face of the divorce, ask that your spousal support be paid directly to you so you can pay all your bills. There is more risk involved in having your spouse be ordered to pay your bill for you.

Similarly, make sure you are in control of your finances post-divorce. If at all possible, take your name off of all community debts going to your spouse to minimize risk. Often, lenders will not allow a debt holder to drop their name from a debt so you may need to redistribute your debts and assets to pay off certain debts so you can be released from the responsibility of paying them.

Similarly, drop your spouse’s name off of any of your bank accounts. In worst-case scenarios, bankruptcies can occur when debts go unpaid and if your name is on that debt, your credit will suffer. It can be hard to stay on top of who is paying what during a divorce so bankruptcy is a real concern. This is a complex area of divorce law so be sure to consult with a family law attorney if you are concerned about your credit during the divorce.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and have questions about protecting your financial future during divorce, Mark Karney, Certified Family Law Specialist, can help. Attorney Mark H. Karney and his skilled complex divorce litigation team can provide expert counsel to ensure you walk away from the divorce in good financial shape. Call us at (310) 393-0236; email us at intake@cfli.com or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.

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