So you are in the middle of a divorce. You don't have the energy to worry about one more problem during this time but there's one you should not neglect; your credit.
Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but one day in the not so distance future after your divorce, you will care about your credit. You may be applying for a new loan, a job or a new house and it is going to matter quite a bit. Protecting what you have now is much easier than rebuilding your credit after it is damaged after a divorce.
The Power of Your Divorce Decree (or lack thereof)
Your creditors don't care about your divorce decree! They are not bound by it. Your spouse may be ordered to pay a bill but if it doesn't happen, the creditor won't care. If it's in your name, they will come for you!
There are Options to Put You in Control
1. Sell joint assets. If your divorce is somewhat civil, you may be able to agree in selling jointly financial assets like houses or vehicles. this can prevent a lot of credit problem from happening in the first place.
Once you sell the asset, the loan gets paid first. If there is any equity leftover, you can split the remainder or use it to pay down other debts. You might be able to buy the asset from you soon to be ex in this process as well.
2. Refinance. Its possible to refinance, for example, a home if the parties are somewhat agreeable. While doing the refi while you are still married, you may be able to convince your spouse to refi with the new loan without your name on it. It shows good faith and you can reciprocate by doing the same in other areas of debt.
3. Make the Payments Yourself. No one likes this option but it is a reality. If your ex won't make payments on a joint debt, the late payments and fees, default, charge-offs or collection might severely damage both your credit scores. Making payments even if minimal, will protect your credit.
4. Last but not Least; Bankruptcy. You cant afford to pay the minimums on your joint account debts, your ex won't refinance or work with you to sell joint assets, then maybe you consider filing for bankruptcy. Your credit score will take a hit but you will have some protection from your creditors. The same protection will be afforded for your ex.
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