When going through a divorce, it is common to have some financial changes and concerns. One common area of consideration for those who are leaving a marriage is their credit. A credit score can make a big difference for how Maryland residents move throughout life, often determining where they can live, what they can purchase, and in some cases, even what job they can attain. For that reason, taking steps to safeguard credit during a divorce is a wise decision. Here are some ways to protect one’s credit in a divorce:
- Stay informed: The first step to protecting or even improving one’s credit score is to know what it is. That means ordering a copy of the credit report and taking stock of all accounts and liabilities.
- Uncouple accounts: Once a couple is separate, it is a good idea for them to be as distinct as possible financially. This way, one person’s bad decisions cannot affect the other. While some joint debts may need to be worked out legally, others (such as credit cards where the spouse is simply a secondary cardholder) can and should be severed immediately.
- Put it in context with a disclaimer statement: It is normal for a credit score to take a dip during divorce. Thankfully, most people are aware of this reality and many take the context into consideration when reviewing a credit report for a job or loan. Contact the major credit reporting agencies and ask to put a general statement on the report that briefly explains the reason for the dip. This can help to explain any temporary, divorce-related red flags to those reviewing the documents.
It can be stressful to see one’s finances take a turn during or following a divorce. Concerns about everything from credit scores to cost of living to spousal or child support can certainly be top of mind for many. To ensure one’s interests are properly represented throughout the process, it is advisable for individuals to work with a trusted Maryland family lawyer when confronting these issues.