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Family law: Maintain good credit scores when getting a divorce

Maintaining a good credit score is of utmost concern to many Michigan residents and others around the country. Unfortunately, when couples go through a divorce, those scores could fall as a result of various financial factors. Family law experts recommend ways to keep a strong credit rating even though one's marriage may be coming to an end.

On top of paying for a divorce itself, the former spouses also have to manage expenses individually rather than as a couple. New housing costs, alimony or child support may also be a financial strain that could lead to credit difficulties. Also, if credit cards were obtained jointly, an ex-spouse's failure to pay bills in a timely manner could negatively affect someone's credit score.

As a couple goes through the process of dividing assets, their debts must be considered as well. Decisions should be reached about who will pay specific debts. It is necessary to ensure that payments will be made on time so as not to affect credit scores. Financial planners strongly suggest that all joint accounts with a former spouse should be closed as soon as possible.

If someone's credit score has decreased, there are ways to repair it. Once a divorce is final, set up a system to see that all monthly bills are paid on time. Also establish a plan to reduce credit card debt as much as possible. However, don't cancel the accounts if the debt is completely paid. Having available credit on cards can actually improve a credit score.

Going through the divorce process can be an emotional roller coaster. It would be helpful for someone to not have the additional burden of worrying about declining credit scores. A Michigan family law attorney can help clients through every step of the divorce process, including addressing a multitude of financial issues.

Source: wisebread.com, "What You Need to Know About Divorce and Credit", Dan Rafter, March 7, 2018

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