Making a new start with your life after a divorce may prove difficult if you do not disentangle yourself financially from your spouse. Like many married couples, you may have a credit card account that you and your spouse share. Failing to close this account before your divorce is complete could do damage to your credit.
Maintaining good credit is important. It can help you acquire financing like a mortgage or a loan. It can also help you when applying for a credit card with generous benefits. Kiplinger explains how divorcing couples may approach the issue of a joint account.
Problems with joint accounts
Your spouse may have been the breadwinner and took on the duty of paying off expenses on your jointly owned card. But if the divorce goes sour, the other spouse may keep using the card but refuse to pay the bills. The card company will go after you for payments since your name is also on the card.
A similar problem may arise for any account you jointly own with a spouse or an outstanding debt with both of your names on it. Failing to pay these debts can cause your credit to suffer. This is why before your divorce is complete, it may benefit your financial future to look for ways to get your name off joint accounts and debts.
Your spouse could harm your credit even if you are the sole owner of a credit card. If you had added your spouse as an authorized user, your spouse could still charge expenses on the card and rack up debt that could damage your credit. You might avoid this problem by contacting the card issuer to take your spouse’s name off the card.
At the same time, look to see whether you are an authorized user on your spouse’s card. Your spouse may spend excessively, and if your spouse’s credit suffers, it could drag down yours as well. Taking your name off your spouse’s card may avoid further credit problems.