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Check Your Credit
One inexpensive task I recommend that all divorcing couples do early in the divorce process is to check their credit reports to ensure that there are no surprise debts or credit lines. In my own divorce, I uncovered credit cards that were in my name that I was not aware of. Other couples have been able to find incorrect information that could have impacted their ability to qualify for credit and even for employment. Once you get a copy of your report, you can request that the credit bureau remove any incorrect information. Close all unused accounts promptly. Check your reports on a periodic basis to ensure that they remain current and accurate.
There are three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian (formerly TRW), and Trans Union. They all charge approximately $8 for a report. You may be eligible for a free copy of your report if you have been denied credit or are unemployed and seeking employment. While they do share information, I would recommend getting reports from two of the companies to provide added assurance.
Please phone each of the bureaus to confirm the amount you need to pay for your particular situation. For security reasons, all three bureaus are very firm that requests for credit reports must be in writing. In your letter to the credit bureau, you should provide the following information along with your check or money order:
Heres the information on each of the three credits bureaus we mentioned above:
PO Box 390
If you run into problems getting information, or in cleaning up your credit reports, you can complain to the Consumer Response Center, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580, or call 1-202-326-3761.
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the division of property in a divorce is to be done fairly, not necessarily equally. The court can take into consideration any factor it deems relevant when dividing property, but it must consider certain factors, such as how long the couple was married and the age and health of both spouses, the income or property brought to the marriage by each spouse, the standard of living that was achieved during the marriage, and the extent to which one spouse may have deferred career goals, among others.
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