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Protecting your Credit During a Divorce

Cook County Divorce Attorney

If you have recently begun the divorce process or if you are thinking about filing for divorce soon, you are probably worried about a few of the long-term effects the divorce will have on your life. One of these might be the thought of not seeing your children every day after your divorce.

Another might be having to move out of your current home and into a new house or apartment, adjusting to life as a single person after years of living with your partner. Another worry you might have, but also might not have yet considered, is how your credit will be affected by the divorce. A divorce can sometimes be expensive. It is not uncommon for individuals working through the divorce process to rack up substantial amounts of debt and find themselves considering bankruptcy after their divorces are finalized.

This does not have to happen to you. Actively plan to protect your credit before you file for divorce and speak with your lawyer about ways you can cut down the costs of divorce and stick to your budget strategy.

Protect your Credit Before Filing for Divorce

Before you file for divorce, you can open a new credit card account in your name only. This way, your partner cannot make purchases with your credit card and potentially leave you with the bill.

Work with your spouse to pay off all your current debts before you file for divorce. When your assets are divided, your debts will be divided too. It is often easier to wipe out or reduce these debts beforehand, rather than having to face them later when you are also facing lawyer fees and other expenses related to your divorce, like the increased cost of childcare and the cost of moving.

Stick to your Budget During and After the Divorce Process

Before you file for divorce, create a budget that utilizes less money than you earn each month. Unexpected expenses can and likely will crop up during the divorce process, such as an hourly fee for a child custody evaluator, and expenses like this can take a toll on your budget. It is best to live below your means until your divorce is finalized so you can easily absorb these expenses.

Take inventory of all of your financial accounts. If you can, consolidate them to make it easier for you to keep track of them. If your spouse is an authorized user on any of your accounts, you can potentially remove him or her to avoid any surprise charges. Know how much money is in each account and how much is owed for each debt and keep this information in an easily-accessible file. You will need to access and share this information multiple times during the divorce process.

Establish a Strong Credit Foundation for your Life After Divorce

Taking the steps above should set you on a path to continue building positive credit after your divorce is finalized. Always make your future stability your top priority when making purchasing decisions while your divorce is pending and use credit cards as a tool to build credit, rather than a strategy to delay paying for your purchases.

Continue paying all of your bills during the divorce process and communicate with your partner about making the payments. If he or she is not cooperative about continuing to pay the bills, now is not the time to stoop to his or her level and refuse to make the payments. Becoming delinquent on your household bills, such as your mortgage payment and your utility bills, will only hurt your future credit score. Make all payments when they are due and document each payment you make in case you face any discrepancies with your spouse or with your creditor.

Work with an Experienced Rolling Meadows Divorce Attorney

If you are considering filing for divorce, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer who can help you make choices that will make it easy for you to transition to life after the divorce. During the divorce process, you may feel pressures outside of those directly associated with the divorce, such as the pressure to keep yourself on a budget and the pressure to continue to be a strong parental figure for your children. Speak with Donald J. Cosley of the Law Offices of Donald J. Cosley to learn more about all aspects of the divorce process. Contact our firm today to set up your initial consultation.

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