A divorce can be devastating on so many levels.  You may be emotionally, and physically drained from dealing with such a tumultuous experience.  You are left trying to put back all the pieces of your life and starting anew, but there is one important thing to clean up in addition to all of the relationship and personal issues, you must also do a credit clean up.

There are several important issues to consider when doing a credit clean up after divorce.  This article will attempt to delve into some of the major issues and what can be done about them.  We will focus on doing a credit clean up based on a time line of when problems may have occurred.

To start, let’s first look at the time while you were still married.  During this period, it is very likely that you and your former spouse obtained a variety of loans and credit from multiple sources.  Perhaps you purchased a home as husband and wife, where each of you were named on the mortgage.  Additionally, you may have obtained a variety of credit cards.  Here we need to investigate whether you were jointly responsible on the account, or if you or your former spouse were simply an authorized user.

Looking at these in-marriage scenarios, we need to determine if there were any late payments, charge-offs or other damaging issues that need to be addressed during your credit clean up during this period.  Like most negative information, if it does not meet the federal guidelines it can and should be challenged and removed from your bureau report.

Now, let’s move to the more distressing period, and a prime time for a vindictive ex to take out revenge, or simply be unable to live up to their responsibilities, the separation and actual divorce.  When looking at your credit clean up during this period of time, you may feel comfortable with the fact that the two of you have come to an agreement on your own.  You may even have a judicial order mandating that your former partner take on that responsibility.  Great, you’re home free, right?  The unfortunate answer is no, you are likely on the hook for that debt with the creditor themselves in the same capacity as before the agreement or judicial decree.

An agreement between you and your spouse, or even a judicial order that the other spouse must make the payments on a debt incurred as a joint liability, does not automatically relieve you of the obligation to the original creditor.  Without the original creditor amending the agreement between themselves and you and your ex (which is very difficult to accomplish), then often your only recourse, when your former spouse does not fulfill their obligations, is to bring an action against your spouse.

So what does this all mean?  In a nutshell you want to do a credit clean up as fast as possible after your divorce. Those debts that you incurred jointly with your former spouse prior to the divorce will continue to be reported to the credit bureaus even after the divorce.  This is the case whether or not there is an agreement or judicial order mandating the other person is responsible. You must take action and attempt to contact the creditors as quickly as possible and try to get them to amend their paperwork to show that only your former spouse is now liable to them and for them to release you from the obligation.   You must take action to ensure that the bills that your spouse is supposed to pay are being paid on time otherwise your credit score will suffer.  If need be, you may even have to make the payments and subsequently bring an action against your ex.

If you do find yourself in this unfortunate scenario, you must then do a credit clean up as quickly and aggressively as possible. You must do everything within your power to fight back not only against your ex and the creditor, you must also work diligently using every law and tactic against the credit bureaus as well to ensure that your credit is cleaned up and not affected by this nasty situation.

The Attorney’s and Professional Advocates of YourCreditAttorney.com stand ready to assist you in your credit clean up.  To learn more about our credit repair services and how we have assisted more than 25,000 clients improve their credit by doing a credit clean up and increase their credit score in the shortest amount of time for a very reasonable and affordable rate click here.