In some cases, it might be necessary to keep an open a joint line of credit to pay for such things as child expenses or property maintenance during the separation. In this instance, though, it is strongly suggested that it is put down in writing exactly what the account is to be used for and what amount each spouse is expected to contribute towards that account. It is even possible to arrange things so that neither spouse can withdraw/spend any of the monies in that account without the other's written consent (for example, a check that requires two signatures to be valid). For the most part, however, it is recommended that no new joint accounts be opened.
During the separation period, in anticipation of the final divorce, it is also a good idea to obtain a copy of your individual credit report. In some cases, you may be entitled to your report free of charge, otherwise you can expect to pay a minor fee. There are two major credit reporting agencies.
Your individual credit report will be able to give you an accurate list of all your current outstanding debts as well as previous credit history. Should you find that errors have been made, there are avenues available through which your credit standing can be corrected. This information will also be made available via the credit bureau.
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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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