Confucius say: Beware scorned spouse with shared credit.
Maybe the Chinese thinker and philosopher didn't quote those lines, but he should have. Your credit sits on dangerous ground when you and your spouse split up.
"People do unpredictable things during emotional times," says Jennifer Wallis, vice president of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma.
One of her clients found out that her soon-to-be-ex-husband had ruined her credit while they were finalizing their divorce. Her husband had agreed to pay the Citi, Bank of America and Chase credit card accounts, but never did.
What's worse, the sabotage came when the wife needed to establish her own financial identity. Bad credit hurt her chances of getting good terms on credit cards, mortgages and auto loans, while landlords, utilities and insurance companies used it to establish security deposits and premiums.
"It's a bad position to be in if someone has control over your credit," Wallis says. Bankrate outlines five ways to protect credit during a divorce.