Divorce, debt and your financial future

For many people, getting divorced may raise concerns about their future financial health. Assets must be split and shared with a former spouse. Living costs tend to increase when needing to support a new household.

As a person works to get back on their financial feet after a divorce, the last thing he or she would want is to be hit with new debts due to the ex-spouse’s failure to pay them.

Debt liability after a divorce

During a couple’s property division negotiations, joint debts as well as assets are split. Responsibility for any shared debt may be detailed in the divorce decree per the agreements made by the parties. This divorce decree, however, may be insufficient to protect the non-responsible party down the road.

The creditor’s perspective

As explained by U.S. News and World Report, a divorce decree may stipulate one person’s responsibility to repay a debt but both spouse’s names may remain on the account. In this case, the creditor may pursue repayment from either party as both are viewed as liable for the debt in the creditor’s eyes.

Credit reports may take a hit

According to Bankrate, in addition to being asked to repay a debt a former spouse was supposed to pay, a person may find his or her credit report showing negative marks due to late or missed payments on the part of a former spouse.

Some couples find that repaying all joint debt prior to getting divorced a helpful way to avoid these scenarios. Transferring debt to solo accounts may also be an option to protect both parties.

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