For most, divorce is an emotionally painful experience. However, it can be just as financially painful over the long term. A hidden pain that many ex-spouses suffer is a lower credit rating. Those in Louisiana going through a divorce should take steps to prevent this from occurring.
Divorce itself does not affect a credit score one way or the other. Rather, it is when the party divides the marital debts that mishaps could occur. If a former partner fails to pay the debts assigned to them, both exes will suffer. Women tend to get hurt more from this situation. In a recent survey, more than half of the female respondents indicated that their credit scores suffered.
When parties divorce, each party will be assigned to pay a portion of the marital debts. The debts that each must pay is usually listed in the decree or property settlement agreement. If a joint debt does not get paid, a creditor might go after both parties. The divorce decree will not matter to the creditor.
There are certain steps to prevent a credit-harming collection activity from occurring. Taking a spouse off a revolving credit account, such as a credit card, might prevent post-divorce charges. One might also take an ex back to court to seek enforcement of the decree.
While the property is being divided before the divorce has been finalized, it may be better to use marital assets to pay down marital debt. This can be especially helpful for situations where the other spouse has a poor credit history or marital debt is unduly high. Meeting with a family law attorney can help determine the best options based on the situation.