Divorce can be a devastating event in a person’s life. Not only are there emotional issues, there are financial and credit issues to face as well.  Let’s take a look.  

Unfortunately divorce is a life event that affects many Oklahomans.  Divorce decrees typically divide up homes, cars, credit cards and the debts that are attached to those assets, then are finalized and that’s where it ends.  Not so fast!  Some of those debts are joint accounts.  Even though an ex-spouse has been court ordered to pay a debt, there is no guaranty that the bill will be paid.  When an ex-spouse is responsible for debtsthat are joint accounts, such as a car loan or a credit card, and your name is still on the note for repayment, that debt still appears on your credit report along with the payment history of the ex-spouse.  Even though the debt was awarded in court, as far as the lender is concerned it does not relieve you from your obligation to pay the debt because your name is still on the note.  What is there to do?  The ideal solution is to have the ex-spouse refinance the debt.  If it’s a credit card, then the balance needs to be transferred to a new card in the ex-spouses name only.  That way your name   is off the obligation to repay.  What if the ex-spouse cannot get the loan refinanced? Then modify the divorce decree to require the ex-spouse to have the payments auto-drafted from an account. I have seen numerous credit profiles ruined by non-payment by an ex-spouse.  Take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

About the Author: Jolynn Craig

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