Going through a divorce can be overwhelming – equitable distribution, visitation, alimony, child support, division of retirement accounts, where to live, re-entering the workforce. All of these are important, long-lasting decisions. But there is one thing that many people fail to consider during a divorce………..divorcing your credit reports.
Today, your credit report can have a significant impact on all aspects of your life – obtaining a credit card, getting qualified for a mortgage, car loans, a job, the interest rates you pay, car insurance, life insurance. Not having good credit can cost you thousands of dollars. That is why it is important to address your credit report, and the lines of credit that your spouse can access as early in the divorce process as possible.
The key to divorcing credit reports is understanding the difference in the way a court views debt versus the way credit companies view debt. A court views debts as either marital debt or non-marital debt, and will divide it according to a variety of NJ statutory factors, which can be found here. Credit companies view debt as either being joint or individual. With joint debt, both spouses signed for the credit and both spouses are responsible for the debt. With individual debt, only one spouse signed for the debt, hence only one spouse is responsible for it.