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3 points women should know about credit and divorce

You have worked hard to get your credit to an excellent score. You want to keep that good rating and don't want your divorce to ruin it. It is important that you fully understand how your divorce might impact your credit rating. There are some facts that might come as a shock to you, so be sure you are ready for these as you work through divorcing your ex.

1: Creditors don't have to follow the divorce order

You might think that once you have the divorce decree that your credit will only be affected if you don't pay the debts that you were assigned. That is an incorrect assumption. The divorce terms are a civil matter that involves only you and your ex-husband. The creditors who hold the debts aren't required to abide by those terms. Unfortunately, this means that you can be held responsible for debts that your ex-husband doesn't pay as long as you were an account holder or responsible party.

2: You can try to protect yourself

One thing that you can do is to find out if the creditors who hold the debts you share with your ex-husband will transfer the debts to individual accounts instead of joint accounts. This could mean that you have to reapply for credit for the transfer, but it can save you a lot of headaches in the future.

You and your ex-husband will have to work together to do this on some accounts, especially those that he is responsible for paying so that you can be sure the balance isn't associated with your name any longer. Remember to remove yourself as an authorized user on any accounts that your ex-husband might still have open, as the account must be reported in your name to the credit bureaus since you are listed as a user.

3: Keep up with your payments

You should keep up with your own payments, even if your ex-husband isn't keeping up with his. This might help to keep your credit score from tanking if he doesn't make his payments. As bad as it would be, you might have to consider making some of his payments yourself if creditors start coming after you for the money and don't want to have any negative impacts on your credit score. Still, it would be better if you could remove yourself from those accounts, which might require the creditors to do this and your ex-husband to agree to take his responsibilities seriously.

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