Preventing Bad Credit

Upon reaching the decision to separate, it might be a good idea to iron out with your spouse exactly who will be responsible for what joint debts. Letters can be written to the creditors asking that the liabilities be transferred solely to the name of the party that agreed to accept them. In some cases, creditors will not agree to this as they will continue to hold each spouse liable until such time as the debt is paid in full. However, in the event this should be the case, there is still a way to protect yourself from any future debt incurred by your spouse. It is also a way in which you can start and/or strengthen your own individual credit standing.

In some instances, one spouse may have assumed all the financial liabilities for one reason or another (i.e., one spouse did not have good credit whereas the other did; perhaps one spouse had no credit at all). Obviously, in the event of divorce, the spouse that did not have good or perhaps any credit will undoubtedly need to change that situation. The most prominent means by which to begin to accumulate credit is to open a savings or checking account to establish for creditors that you can effectively manage your money. In addition, such everyday items as a telephone or television cable bill can be used as stepping stones to more major lines of credit as potential creditors can look at how you've done with these obligations and make their decisions accordingly.

Useful Online Tools

Suggested Reading
The Property Division Handbook The Property Division Handbook
This book will explain in detail the property distribution aspect of divorce and separation. It will focus on the rights each spouse has under certain laws, situations, and circumstances, and how the division of the property will be decided by the court or through negotiation.

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DATE OF SEPARATION – Depending upon the laws of the state of residence, the Date of Separation – called the DOS – has a profound impact on the eventual division and distribution of property and debt, including credit, pension benefits, and other marital assets. As of the DOS, the separated spouses are now in limbo legally and financially and remain so until the actual Date of Divorce. A great deal of money may be at stake. For example, one spouse may share responsibility for any debts incurred by the other; the value of a retirement plan or other marital asset, such as residential property, may fluctuate, often by thousands of dollars.
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