Michael G. Putter Attorney at Law
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Divorce impacts debts and potentially your credit

Most people think of the marital assets when they are considering property division during a divorce. They tend to forget that someone has to pay the marital debts. These have to be split up during the property division process, but it might not be as easy as you think. Oftentimes, these are used to balance out the asset division to make it more equitable.

One thing that you have to realize is that the property division order is a civil order only between you and your ex. Creditors don't have to abide by the order. Unfortunately, this means that if you have a joint account, and your ex is ordered to pay, you might be held responsible for those payments even though your agreement says it is theirs.

There are a few ways that you can handle debts when you are dividing property. One of the common ways is that you can sell off marital assets to pay the joint debts before the divorce is finalized. Some people might not have the assets to do this. Another option is that might work is that each person transfers the joint debts they are responsible for into individual accounts. Some creditors might not agree with this.

Another thing that might change is your credit. With the divorce, you won't have your ex's income included in your household income. This means that your debt-to-income ratio will change, which can mean that you aren't eligible for as high of a credit line as you were before. If your ex doesn't pay creditors as ordered in the property division document, the missed payments might reflect on your credit history.

All of these factors mean that you need to carefully consider the terms of the settlement. Make sure that you aren't putting yourself in financial danger.

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