Splitting up with your spouse is hardly ever the clean break both parties want it to be. It can get downright dirty if your wife is out to ruin you financially. Credit can be an often overlooked device a spouse can use to ruin their estranged lover. In fact, it’s a tactic that can leave you in a terrible situation. Ruined credit from your ex can make moving on with your life a great hassle. It won’t be easy to buy a house to live in, get a car, or do anything else on your own. Fear not, though, here are some ways you can protect your credit during a divorce.
1. Pull Your Credit Before You Split
As with anything material during a divorce, you want to know what you have before the court and attorneys find out for you. Before you separate (or shortly thereafter) obtain a copy of your credit report. This will ensure that you know where you stand (and have proof of that standing) before the divorce proceedings really get rolling. It will also give you an opportunity to clear up any discrepancies with your credit report and get them fixed before plunging into divorce.
Knowing where you stand before things get hairy will help you stay ahead of the game and prove to the court that you’re in the right. Good documentation can be the salvation in any divorce case.
2. Start a New Line of Credit
While starting a new line of credit can be frowned upon by credit agencies in certain situations, in the scenario of divorce it could be a very wise decision. If you don’t already have a line or lines of credit in your name, take this as an opportunity to start some credit of your own. In all likelihood, you and your wife probably share most of your major debt obligations such as your mortgage, cars, and credit cards.
Any and all of these things can be used by your spouse to destroy your personal credit, and without a personal line of credit in your name only you could be looking at a major blow to your credit score. While the courts can sometimes resolve malicious financial moves, you certainly don’t want to leave the future of your credit in the justice system’s hands. Something as simple as a credit card that you begin using and paying off monthly can make a huge difference moving forward.
3. Cancel Jointly-Owned Credit Cards and Bank Accounts
While this requires the cooperation of your spouse, it could save you thousands of dollars if your estranged wife decides to go on a $5,000 shopping spree or wipe out your joint savings account.
As soon as possible, you could inform your soon-to-be ex that you wish to cancel any jointly-owned credit cards and bank accounts … or if you can do it on your own, that may be easier. It will most likely require both of you to complete the cancellation in some form or fashion, but the 10 or 15 minutes you spend with your estranged wife at the bank or on the phone with a credit card company could save you a lot of headache later.
This symbiotic act actually does benefit both of you. While it’s highly unlikely you’ll be the villain in this scenario, explain to your wife that the act of cancelling these joint accounts are beneficial to her protection too. Additionally, if you can maintain a business-like cordial relationship with your wife, it will make the financial aspect of your divorce go significantly smoother.
4. Get to Court ASAP
Getting to court as soon as possible is most likely your second-strongest ally next to your attorney. Once your divorce case has made it to the court, the judge becomes the decision maker and you are off the hook for any potential financial or credit catastrophes. While this may require you to let go of control over your wife and your joint finances, it will prevent your wife from controlling you.
Giving control over to the judge in your situation can also come as a relief considering how emotionally stressful divorces can be in the first place. Of course, giving up that control and getting to court requires adequate counsel to get you in the courtroom in the first place. As we’ve said already, your attorney is your strongest ally during your divorce proceedings.
A competent men’s divorce attorney can be the difference between your credit and your finances being in shambles and walking away with a clean slate. Give the guys at The Firm for Men a call today at 757-383-9184 and get the representation and credit protection you need for your divorce. Talk to firm has represented only men and get what you deserve.