There are many things Ohio residents need to think about during a divorce, including their credit scores. Fortunately, divorce alone does not hurt a credit score. Credit reports are not influenced by one’s marital status. However, there are two common reasons a divorce might lead to a lower credit score.
After a divorce, joint credit accounts can still appear on credit reports. This applies even if a former partner has responsibility for paying off the debt. If an ex makes late payments, these payments apply to each person’s credit report. Additionally, both parties are responsible for charges made from a joint account even after a divorce occurs.
Divorce can also cause problems with credit because divorce decrees are not universally honored. While a divorce decree determines who is supposed to make payments for every debt a couple has, debt collectors and creditors are not required to abide by divorce decrees. This means that both people can be held responsible if a debt is not paid.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that women make less money than men do on average. This could explain why the credit scores of women are typically hurt more after a divorce. One survey from Experian revealed that more than half of women participating said that their credit score lowered after divorce while half believed an ex hurt their credit.
Dividing joint property during a divorce can be difficult. Typically, assets acquired through inheritance or before a marriage are considered separate property. However, the line between joint and separate property can become muddied, so an attorney’s assistance may be needed. For example, one spouse might have owned a home before a marriage began. If money from a joint account was used on the home, both parties may have claim to a portion of the property.