debt

5 steps to protect credit in a divorce

Keep tabs on joint accounts
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Keep tabs on joint accounts

Ask your lender to send you a copy of the joint account's statement each month, even if your spouse is responsible for making payments on that account. Some may do it automatically while others may allow access to account records online.

Otherwise, pull your free credit report from a different credit reporting agency every four months to make sure all accounts are being paid on time, says Estes. You're entitled to request a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies every 12 months under federal law through AnnualCreditReport.com.

If your spouse isn't making the payments on the agreed accounts, contact your divorce attorney right away. The court likely will make your spouse pay any legal fees if the creditor comes after you along with reimbursement of any other out-of-pocket expenses, says Mark Baer, a family law attorney in California.

"It's a very risky situation," says Baer. "There's no good way around it."


 

 

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