Unhappy spouses put off divorce for different reasons, such as waiting
until the children move out, but one of the main reasons is because of
money, isn't that right?
Most of us have heard horror stories about a wife that took her husband
for all he had, a husband that gambled away the family's life savings
at the track, or a wife that was infuriated by her husband's affair
so she maxed out all of their credit cards and "forgot" to pay
the mortgage until the bank foreclosed on the house.
If you've been daydreaming about a divorce but fear of what will happen
to your home, your IRA or 401(k), or your credit has been holding you
back, you don't have to let these fears keep you from untying the
While it's true, countless divorcées have filed bankruptcy or
otherwise suffered financial ruin because of any ugly divorce, it doesn't
have to be that way.
Divorce is much like a game of chess. If you're calm and strategic,
you can protect your assets, your credit, and even the sentimental items,
such as the family photos. However, the best way to stay in control of
these things is to do your research and seek the advice of an experienced
If you're concerned about any of these issues, we can help:
- You're worried your spouse has "hidden assets."
- You're concerned that your spouse will drain the bank accounts.
- You suspect your spouse is hiding real estate, investments, or other assets from you.
- You think your spouse will try to transfer assets to friends or family.
- You're worried you'll end up bankrupt, broke, or penniless.
- You're afraid your spouse will use your past transgressions to "nail
you" in the divorce.
- You're concerned because you don't know anything about the bills
or the finances – you're what's called the "out spouse."
- Your spouse has threatened to leave you with nothing or ruin your credit
if you ask for a divorce.
Even if you can relate to one or more of the concerns listed above, there
are legal procedures and processes that can protect you. For instance,
once you file for divorce, court orders will go into effect, demanding
that your spouse does not make any large or unusual purchases, or transfer
or sell assets to another party.
Protecting Your Credit
The more you are armed with information regarding your rights and how to uncover
hidden assets, the better position you'll be in to protect your claim to the marital
estate. Not only that, but there are key pieces of information that we
can give you about making a clean break and protecting your credit if
that's a concern for you.
For instance, you should run your credit reports immediately so you can
see exactly who owes what, and to whom. If you have joint credit cards,
you want to close them or transfer them into one spouse's name alone.
If you have debt and you can afford to pay it off before the divorce, do
it. You don't want an old marital debt to haunt you later on after
the divorce, especially if your spouse decides not to pay it for some reason.
Creditors don't care what the divorce decree says, if your spouse fails
to pay an old marital debt that was assigned to him or her, you can be
on the hook for it and that can damage your FICO score. Same goes with
staying on the mortgage after the divorce.
If you agree to let your spouse keep the marital residence, make sure that
he or she refinances the house in their name. Otherwise, you could have
trouble qualifying for another mortgage because your debt-to-income ratio
is too high, or the lender could come after you if your spouse defaults
on the loan.
For further advice about divorce and credit, contact
Jason M. Barbara & Associates, P.C. to speak with a Nassau County divorce
lawyer for free!