If you’re thinking about divorce and are concerned about your credit cards, there are several steps to follow that will allow you to protect yourself and your credit.
Being an authorized card user is not a sufficient way to maintain credit, so put your name on all bank cards and store credit card accounts. When credit cards are in your name, your spouse will not be able to cancel them or cut you off without permission.
It may be difficult to get credit until you have received regular payments for some time.
Be prepared for a financial emergency, and getting a credit card with check writing privileges is a great place to start. This gives you access to money if you run low on cash or your accounts are frozen during the divorce.
Support as Income
If you receive spousal support or child support that is considered income, most credit institutions will want to see proof of those payments. It may be difficult to get credit until you have received regular payments for some time.
These same institutions will want to know that you will be receiving them in the future consistently. If you are in the process of divorce, any support you are receiving is most likely set under temporary orders, which are subject to change. This could cause credit institutions to deem those payments unreliable.
If your spouse agrees to pay certain bills, you are still responsible in the eyes of the creditor. This means the creditor could come after you if your spouse doesn’t pay the bills in question.
Additionally, accounts you hold jointly with your spouse will impact your credit. For instance, you may be denied a car loan because of outstanding credit that your spouse has yet to pay. This makes it important to work with your family law attorney to sort through your credit card accounts and other bills to protect your credit and finances.