Many legal issues affect fathers’ rights to custody and other disputes during a Texas divorce. However, credit ratings can also influence a spouse’s ability to obtain a job and establish credit, which can ultimately affect the outcome of disputed matters.
A spouse should obtain a copy of their annual credit report that are available free by some reporting agencies. This information can disclose information that potential employers receives, such as the identity of creditors, the amount of debt being carried and the payment history reported to creditors.
Credit reports can also disclose previously unknown negative information. This may include a former spouse secretly obtaining credit accounts and accruing debt or another person fraudulently using credit cards. A party should continue to seek credit reports after divorce to help assure, which they are not responsible for any debt that their spouse acquired after divorce.
The decree should also be carefully drafted to assure that debt is properly allocated among the former spouses. It should separate responsibility for each party’s debt, such as credit card bills and other obligations incurred without the other party’s knowledge.
But, the decree does not relieve a spouse of any debts and obligations that the couple jointly incurred. A party should notify creditors that they will not be responsible for individual accounts that were obtained without that spouse’s knowledge or consent because creditors can hold them responsible, if their spouse defaults on any jointly incurred obligations. A party should continue to review their credit reports to assure that their former spouse is not defaulting on joint debt that they assumed.
It is also important to quickly remove a party’s name from their former spouse’s debt obligations and to correct any inaccurate information that may show up in credit reports. Accurate information regarding debts that a spouse is responsible, even if negative, may not be removed.
Finally, bankruptcy may be used as a potential last resort to provide a fresh start when debt becomes overwhelming. However, bankruptcy should be carefully considered because of its long-lasting impact on credit, even the ability of getting a job.
Legal assistance can help with negotiating or litigating a fair divorce decree. An attorney can represent a party on debt issues and other family law issues during these proceedings.
Source: Fathers4Kids.com, “Your credit rating and divorce,” accessed on Jan. 17, 2017