If your soon-to-be former spouse is frequently tardy on payments and has
fallen into a lot of debt, then all this on your record could hurt you
years after a
divorce, unless you take the right steps. For example, you might want to cancel
credit cards that are under both your names. You can protect yourself
in this manner from the consequences of your ex misusing a credit card.
If you have not done so previously, get your own credit card, so as to
build separate credit. Closing the joint account might hurt your score,
but in the long run, this will probably be significantly less than any
damage your ex's poor credit might inflict.
More difficult still might be protecting yourself from a mortgage. Suppose
for instance, that your former spouse keeps the house, and neither your
ex nor the lender will take your name off the mortgage loan. If your ex
does not refinance under his or her name alone, then if the house goes
into foreclosure, this can come back to bite you. In your divorce settlement,
you may be able to pursue a court order that says that the house must
be sold and the profit split, or that your ex has to refinance under his
or her name by a specific deadline. If you can afford it, you might be
get the house and refinance yourself.
If your name is stuck on credit cards and loans that you cannot close,
then creditors might go after you if your ex does not make payments. You
may have legal recourse against this, but you might have to deal with
these issues for quite some time. You might want to set up notification
systems that will alert you when payments are late or missing. Also, if
you regularly look into your credit record, you can be aware of any instances
when you are being penalized for your ex's finances. In those cases,
you can try to fix the error with the credit bureau.
Of course, every situation is different, requiring different precautions
and decisions. To learn how
property division can affect you in a divorce,
contact a Long Island divorce attorney from the Meyers Law Group, P.C.