Credit Score Divorce

How to Protect Your Credit Score During A Florida Divorce 

Even though the potential problems are obvious, most people overlook the financial risk to your credit score as a result of a divorce. Even in the best of times, when someone leaves a marriage on secure financial footing, shifting responsibilities and a lack of clarity may cause people to forget about their credit obligations and miss payments.

If you are considering divorce and want to take proactive steps to safeguard your future credit strength, you should contact a local attorney who knows how to protect the interests of their clients.

At The Bardine Law Firm, we look at all potential repercussions that can arise from a divorce, helping you make informed decisions and plan for your future. Don’t let divorce ruin your credit and future opportunities. Get in touch today at (727) 605-7078 to talk to a member of our team and start your divorce proceedings on the right foot.

How Divorce Can Affect Credit Scores

Divorce proceedings can have a ripple effect on many aspects of your life, including your (increasingly valuable in modern times) credit score. The underlying reasons for a worsening credit score – accumulation of debts, late payments, excessive inquiries – remain the same, but divorces introduce various areas that can make these situations arise. These areas include:

  • Joint Accounts: If you have joint credit cards or loans with your spouse, any late payments or defaults can negatively affect both of your credit scores.
  • Debt Accumulation: Legal fees, alimony, and child support payments can lead to increased debt, which in turn can lower your credit score.
  • Credit Inquiries: During a divorce, you may need to refinance assets like your home or car, leading to multiple credit inquiries. Each inquiry can slightly lower your credit score, sometimes only for a short period.

Joint accounts are particularly tricky. If your spouse decides not to pay or pays late on a joint account, it will reflect poorly on your credit report. Your attorney will help protect you from bad faith attacks and promote your interests in negotiations and courtrooms if your former spouse is purposely tanking your future financial prospects.

Strategies to Protect Your Credit Score

While divorce can pose risks to your credit score, there are actionable steps you can take to mitigate these risks, including:

  1. Monitoring Your Credit Report: Regularly check your credit report for any unauthorized activities or errors. Dispute any inaccuracies immediately to maintain a healthy credit score.
  2. Closing or Freezing Joint Accounts: To prevent your spouse from accumulating debt in your name, consider closing or freezing all joint accounts – credit cards, loans, bank accounts, and any cosigned ventures.
  3. Paying Off Joint Debts: If possible, pay off or refinance joint debts before the divorce is finalized. This step helps ensure you’re not held responsible for any late payments your spouse might make.

Most of these strategies can’t be employed at the drop of a hat – they require planning, time, and adequate resources. When you hire a Florida divorce attorney to help with your separation, you gain a partner who can devote valuable time to protecting your interests and helping you craft a plan to pay off any existing debts in joint accounts.

Legal Measures for Credit Protection

While you should do all you can to protect your credit, legal measures can offer an extra layer of protection for your credit score during divorce proceedings.

When a divorce is filed, emotions can run high, and there’s a risk that one spouse may attempt to dissipate or hide assets to gain an unfair advantage in the settlement or harm their former spouse’s credit. To prevent this, courts can approve a financial restraining order prohibiting both parties from making significant financial transactions without mutual consent or court approval. Some of the most common restrictions include limits on selling property, emptying bank accounts, or making large purchases. Violating this order can result in legal consequences, including serious contempt of court charges.

Contact A St. Petersburg Divorce Attorney Today

It can be hard to think far into the future if you are currently going through an unfortunate divorce. However, what happens today can affect your tomorrow. Don’t leave it to chance. At The Bardine Law Firm, we aggressively negotiate on behalf of our clients to help them maintain a healthy financial status and credit score after the end of their marriage. Contact our team today at (727) 605-7078 to begin the process of securing your financial future during uncertain times.