Tips for Protecting Your Credit in a Florida Divorce
When you are in the middle of a heated Florida divorce, you might not give a second thought to how this divorce will affect your credit. However, you should, because your individual credit will be more important once the divorce is finalized since you’ll be relying on yourself for car loans, rental applications, mortgages, and even employment. The good news is that credit bureaus are not totally heartless and are willing to work with you in some cases.
One of the best ways to protect your credit is to retain a skilled Boca Raton divorce attorney who can keep you from making financially devastating choices during your Florida divorce. Removing your ex and closing accounts may take away your ex’s access, but it doesn’t mean the debts are extinguished. Your debts will be considered closed when the balances are paid off. Otherwise, creditors may try to pursue both of you for any outstanding debts that have both of your names.
Here’s a look at some other tips to help you keep your credit in check during and after your divorce.
Try to Reach an Agreement
If you and your soon-to-be-ex can reach an agreement, it’s beneficial to both sides. Consider mediation, if necessary, in order to try and reach an agreement. You and your ex need to decide who will pay each debt. This is especially important for larger loans, like a car payment or a mortgage, because it takes time to figure out how to resolve these. In some cases, you may need to refinance in your own name, sell the property, or look into other options.
In the event you can’t reach an agreement, the court will divide the debts much like the assets are divided. The judge will spell out his or her decision in the final divorce decree. Because Florida is an equitable distribution state, it means the court will look to try and split the debts as evenly as possible. It doesn’t mean debts are split down the middle 50/50 like in a community property state.
Obtain Your Credit Report from Before the Split
You should get a copy of your credit report before the split. Try to resolve any discrepancies or problems that you may have caused yourself. If there are inaccurate reports, start disputing them now. You should not be opening any other lines of credit with your spouse if you anticipate divorce or are in the middle of a divorce. Having a copy of your credit report from before the split is one way to see if your spouse is racking up debt just before splitting. If this is occurring, you may have cause to show the court what he or she is doing.
Cut Back After the Divorce
If your financial situation is changing dramatically, which it is for most people going from two incomes to one, it’s important to look at ways to cut back. Don’t try to hang on to the family home if you can’t swing the mortgage. Sell your expensive car or trade it in for something with lower car payments. Look for ways to reduce your entertainment expenses, food budget, etc.
Contact a Florida Divorce Attorney
If you are preparing for a Florida divorce, don’t go through it alone. Let a Boca Raton divorce attorney help you through this process. Contact the Law Offices of Schwartz | White today to schedule an initial consultation.