A Texas divorce is not in itself a fatal blow to a credit score. However, what happens during the divorce can curtail one’s creditworthiness. Many have reported that their credit score has fallen by more than 50 points during their divorce. These impacts can be avoided when individuals are proactive in terms of protecting their own credit.
The most important move is to understand the situation. The first step is to obtain credit reports from each of the three bureaus. One should learn exactly which accounts are joint and can be credit risks in a divorce. At the minimum, one needs to keep a close eye on the joint accounts. They should strongly consider closing these accounts. If the other spouse runs up debt when it is a joint account, then both spouses will be responsible for it. Separating credit accounts is a vital step in preserving credit.
Make sure to communicate the status of the account to the creditor. This may not alleviate one’s responsibility for the debt, but there is some room for negotiation with the creditor. Based on the situation, one should even consider placing a freeze on their credit to keep new credit from being taken out in their name during this time. This can keep the other spouse from running up unauthorized debt in the other spouse’s name that they may have to pay.
If debt is a concern in a divorce, a family law attorney may help protect their client’s financial interests. The divorce agreement is where these issues are ultimately decided, and the attorney may negotiate on their client’s behalf so that they do not have to assume a disproportionate amount of the debt. They could help their client obtain a division of marital assets to reflect the debt that they had to assume.