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Protecting a person's credit during divorce

If an Arizona couple decides it may be time for a divorce, it is always important that financial matters be at the top of the list when they are attempting to resolve issues. If a person does not take the steps to ensure that their finances are secure, they could find themselves stuck with their ex-spouse's debt or poor credit.

When a divorce is imminent, it is recommended that one of the first things both parties do is to open their own bank account. By depositing new paychecks directly into a more protected account, the other spouse cannot take control of the money by draining the account. Additionally, ensuring that any bills that are paid automatically come out of the solo account will also protect against late fees, especially once the joint account is closed. Along the same lines, a person heading for divorce should apply for their own low-limit credit card, which could come in handy in case of emergencies.

Next, a person can further protect their credit by updating all of their information and changing passwords and PINs. If the person has already moved out, ensuring that the address for banks and credit reports has been updated will keep an ex-spouse from being able to snoop. Finally, both parties should be aware of any responsibilities they may have in paying off joint debt.

During divorce proceedings, separating finances is just one of many things that an ex-couple will need to figure out, including child support, child custody and property division. A family law attorney may help a client beginning the divorce process by providing legal advice to help protect their credit, assisting with the division of joint assets and negotiating a child visitation schedule that works for everyone involved.

Source: NerdWallet, "4 Ways to Protect Your Credit During and After a Divorce", Anisha Sekar, Feb. 13, 2015

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