The transition from committed spouses to anything less typically includes separating finances, at least to some degree. Todd Mark, vice president of education for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas, offers these suggestions for dividing debts and protecting your credit:
- Obtain your credit reports. The reports will outline the amount of debt, and which accounts are individual or joint.
- Close joint credit accounts. If there is an outstanding balance on a joint credit card, either pay it off (or separate the balance on two individual accounts) and close the account. Do this with joint cell phone accounts and other service plans, too. Monitor any account either online or by phone that still has your name on it, even if your spouse assures you that he or she is making the payments. If he or she misses a payment, your credit will be damaged.
- Separate joint liabilities. From a credit standpoint, says Mark, ownership is also liability. If both your names are on a vehicle title, then you are equally liable for the payments and any accident that occurs. The same goes for a mortgage.
Portions of this article were derived from the Home & Family Finance(R) Resource Center. To read the entire article which covers more on weathering the financial storm of a divorce, click here.