Can a Divorce Adversely Affect Your Credit Score?
If you are going through a Florida divorce, you may have a lot of questions on your mind. One of the questions you may be asking yourself is, “Can a divorce adversely affect my credit score?” So, can a divorce adversely affect your credit score? Well, a divorce cannot directly affect your credit score. However, the financial issues that arise after a divorce can. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the chances of a divorce indirectly affecting your credit score.
How Can a Divorce Indirectly Affect Your Credit Score?
The following are some of the ways a divorce can indirectly affect your credit score;
- Being unable to keep up with your bills – After your divorce, you might be left surviving on one paycheck. The money you earn might be insufficient to keep up with your monthly bills. It might hurt your credit score if you cannot pay your bills on time.
- Paying your marital debts – In Florida, during divorce, marital assets and debts are divided between spouses in an equitable manner. If, during divorce, the court allocates you massive debt, your credit score could be negatively affected after divorce if you have insufficient money to pay those debts.
- Paying joint debts your ex-spouse is supposed to pay – The court can only divide marital debt between divorcing spouses. It cannot remove your name from any joint marital debts you have with your ex-spouse. If your ex-spouse fails to pay the joint marital debts he or she was ordered to pay, it could ruin your credit score since the debts are also in your name.
How Can You Protect Your Credit Score After Divorce?
The good news is that there are strategies you can adopt that can reduce the chances of a divorce affecting your credit score. Below is a look at some of the steps you can take to reduce the chances of a divorce affecting your credit score;
- Create a budget – After a divorce, preparing a budget for being on your own is crucial. It is vital that you adjust your budget to the new reality. You should not assume you can live the same way you did before. Budgeting can help you cut down on unnecessary expenses and thus pay your bills and debts.
- Increase your income – If you are having difficulty paying bills as a newly single person, try looking for ways to increase your income.
- Adjust your lifestyle to the new reality – For example, move to a smaller house or sell your car and buy a less-expensive one. Adjusting your lifestyle can help you stay on top of your bills and debts.
- Pay bills on time – Because making late payments can negatively affect your credit score, one of the ways to protect your credit score after divorce is to ensure you pay your bills on time.
- Be keen on whether your ex-spouse is paying his or her joint marital debts – Although the court does not remove your name from joint marital debts, it can hold your ex-spouse in contempt of court if he or she fails to make payments. So ensure you remain keen on whether your ex-spouse is making payments.
- Consider adopting enforcement tools during the mediation or arbitration process – every divorcing couple will be required to attend mediation. During the mediation process, there are options such as enforcing the payment of bills by contempt, which can be utilized if both parties agree to add this language to a consent agreement. This offers a level of protection for both parties.
Contact a Jacksonville Family Lawyer
If you are going through a Florida divorce, feel free to contact our Jacksonville family lawyers at The Lasky Law Firm if you have any questions.