A divorce does not merely challenge you emotionally: It challenges you fiscally and logistically. As you and your spouse determine who gets what, you might want to take steps to ensure that you land on firm financial footing and will not have to pay for your former spouse’s debt. For more information on how to protect your credit during and after a divorce in New Jersey, please continue reading, then contact one of our experienced divorce attorneys in Bergen County, NJ soon. Some ways to protect your credit during and after a divorce in New Jersey include:
Understanding your responsibilities
For better or worse, a divorce will not affect your responsibility for paying off a joint debt. You will remain on the hook for any debt your spouse incurs if you co-signed a credit card with him or her, even if he or she assumes control of it after the finalization of your divorce. It will damage your credit score if your spouse falls behind on payments, which can lead to you having to go to court. Your divorce decree will not affect agreements with lenders or card issuers, so you must go through every joint account, cancel it and transfer the remaining balance to a card in the name of whoever will assume responsibility for the debt.
Opening your own credit report
Whether it seems likely or not, your spouse might use this time to destroy your financial security. For example, they might drain a joint checking account. If you do not already have one, you should open a checking account in your name and begin depositing your paychecks into that account. Additionally, you should ensure that all automatic payments for the credit cards and bills in your name come out of your own checking account.
Obtaining a credit card in your own name
Once you have closed all your joint credit cards, you will most likely want to open some of your own. If you have not already taken steps to build your own credit, you may start by applying for a low-limit credit card and gradually increase the limit.
Changing your passwords and updating your information
Ensure that your spouse can’t access your financial information, including changing:
- The PINs on your debit cards
- The passwords on all your bank account websites
- Your security questions, i.e. to something he or she can’t easily guess
Update your address with creditors and financial institutions if you have already moved out. Taking this step ensures that your important information lands in the right place and adds an extra layer of security against your nosy ex.
You might not think your spouse capable of it, but he or she may try to wreck your financial security. So, call one of our skilled Bergen County divorce attorneys today.
Contact our experienced Bergen County firm
To speak with our team of family law lawyers today, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.