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How will getting a divorce affect my credit?

One of the many mistakes people often make when going through a divorce is assuming that it won't have that big of an impact on their finances. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. In addition to the financial strain of supporting yourself on one income or establishing an independent residence, you may still also be responsible for continuing to pay some marital bills throughout the divorce, which can take months.

To protect your credit, you'll need to create a realistic budget based on your income. This may mean forgoing extra purchases for a few months or putting extra effort into funding your savings account for emergencies. Having your finances in order will take some of the stress off as well.

You'll also need to make sure you have an accurate record of all joint and personal accounts for both you and your ex. Sometimes even individual accounts can be considered marital property, and this is true of both bank accounts and debts. You won't be able to get a good idea of what you may be left with after the divorce without knowing the full financial picture.

The most important thing to do is keep making sure the bills are being paid, even if you think it's something your ex should be responsible for. Once the accounts are actually divided by the courts and your name has been taken off the debts, then you can give up responsibility. It's still a good idea to check your credit report on a regular basis for the first year or so. If your ex misses a payment and it shows up on your report, you'll need to alert the lender and the credit bureau to get it fixed.

Source: FindLaw, "Credit and Divorce," accessed July 08, 2016

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