05 Jul 2012

Memphis Divorce Effects on Credit Score: 3 Must-Dos to Protect Your Rating

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Divorce effects on a credit score are often overlooked until it is too late. Memphis divorce lawyers have seen many of their clients have their financial status ruined because of a vindictive ex-spouse who would rather get revenge than ensure their credit remains in good standing. When divorcing in Memphis, a divorce lawyer can assess your finances and help you develop a game plan to protect your credit.

Considerations for You

Not all divorces are acrimonious. If you and your ex are divorcing amicably, you may want to have a frank discussion about what to do with your outstanding debts so your credit score is not negatively affected.

One option for the two of you is to sell or pay off your martial assets, such as your home. The divorce effects on a credit score may be positive when handled this way. By clearing your debts, you will boost your credit rating as well as your partner’s credit history.

Another approach is for you two to decide to evenly divide your joint bills with the hope that each of you will take care of your respective payments. Be forewarned – this is a big risk. Unfortunately, most divorce lawyers have a countless number of stories where the ex-spouse suddenly decided to stop paying the debts assigned to him or her in the decree. In this case, the divorce effects on your credit score are negative, and there is nothing you can do to stop creditors from coming after you for the remaining amount due and ruining your credit score.

What to Do to Protect Yourself

Protecting your credit score is vital in today’s society. A good credit score can help you purchase a home or car or secure a loan for business or college expenses. Credit ratings also are being used more and more frequently by insurance companies and employers.

Here are three things you can do before divorce proceedings begin to protect your credit score: 

  • Pull a credit report – This will help you establish a guideline on what your credit rating is and provide a gauge for you to determine if the divorce is affecting your credit as you go through the process. It will also give you an idea of what outstanding debts are shared so you can try and get those resolved.
  • Separate your credit – You can start by closing any joint accounts. From store retail cards and general credit cards to car and home loans, you may want to separate your credit. This may mean paying off any remaining debt and closing accounts or refinancing your home loan under the name of the person who will be keeping the house. But keep in mind that closing accounts may make your credit score drop.
  • Apply for your own credit – Credit cards are the easiest method to start building your individual credit history. It is best to do this as soon as possible so that any future credit issues won’t ruin your chances for approval.

Help From a Memphis Divorce Lawyer

Divorce effects on a credit score can be devastating. The attorneys at the Miles Mason Family Law Group understand the difficulties involved in separating from your partner, including the financial aspects of divorce. Our team approach can help bring you the resources you need to protect you and your family and move forward. Give us a call today at 901-683-1850.

Miles Mason


Memphis divorce and family lawyer, Miles Mason, Sr. is the founder of Miles Mason Family Law Group, PLC. For more information about our professional staff, see our Meet the Team page.


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