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How Divorce Can Affect Credit

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While most people think of the emotional scars as being the most problematic effects of divorce, this is not necessarily true. The financial implications of divorce can affect a person's ability to begin a new life after the separation and divorce. While it is much easier to overcome this aspect of divorce than the emotional scars, many couples fail to take those preventive measures because of anger and bitterness. Quite often couples that are faced with filing bankruptcy after a divorce are forced to do because of a bitter ex-spouse, a greedy divorce lawyer or an unfair judge. Couples who put their bitterness and anger aside and work together on their financial issues can preserve their credit standing and be prepared to begin their new lives when everything is over.

There are several ways divorcing couples can allow the effects of divorce to damage their credit.

1) The spouse remaining in the marital home does not have the financial resources to make the payments and it goes into default.

2) The spouse ordered by the court to make the mortgage or rent payments refuses to do so (this usually happens when the spouse required to make the payments no longer lives in the residence).

3) One of both parties in the divorce does not make payments on any of their joint debts. This may be because they assume the other person is doing or they just refuse to make those payments.

4) Inability to make court-ordered payments as requested by the ex-spouse. Frequently the spouse being left behind (usually the wife) makes demands that the other party is unable to reasonably meet and still maintain some kind of a lifestyle.

5) The custodial parent makes unreasonable child support demands and then demanding additional funds for other things the children need.

Both husband and wife are equally affected when it comes to the financial effects of divorce unless both have good paying jobs. The problems tend to escalate when the custodial parent that has always remained at home taking care of the children is now forced to seek work and the non-custodial parent is unwilling to provide temporary support. This may also occur when the custodial parent refuses to seek work and demands the ex-spouse to not only support the children but also continue to keep her in the same lifestyle as she had during the marriage. At one time the courts supported this line of thinking but with more two-income families today, the court does not usually support this position except for wives who have never worked and either lack the skills to seek employment or have health issues or children with health issues.

The effects of divorce on credit can have long-lasting effects, something many couples fail to consider when they divorce. Before couples argue over which one is going to pay the bills, it is essential to keep in mind that negative information can remain on your credit report for up to seven years. It is actually much easier to prevent any damage to your credit than to attempt to undo it after the fact. This is even more important in today's economic downturn when creditors are tightening their credit-granting criteria.