Tag Archives: divorce finances

How Divorce Can Impact Your Credit

DuPage County divorce lawyer credit scoreDivorce can cause a great deal of financial upheaval for a family. However, the divorce itself does not have a direct impact on your credit score. The divorce decree does not add or remove points from your existing number, but the financial outcome after the divorce can still play a significant role in what happens to your score. Here is what can go wrong and how to prevent damage to your score:

Responsibility for Joint Debts

Creditors want their money. They do not care if you got a divorce, nor do they care whether a judge proclaimed that one spouse is responsible for the balance on the joint credit card. If your name is on the account as a co-signer, an authorized user, or a joint account holder, you are also financially liable for these debts. The divorce decision does not negate the existing agreement you have with the lender.

Your Credit Score Is on the Line

If you share an account in any way with your ex, old or new, you are also legally responsible for the balance on that account. If the judge gives the responsibility to your ex, and he or she fails to make a payment, the negative marker will end up on your credit score, no matter how far in the past your divorce occurred. Your credit score may also be affected if your ex or someone else with access to a credit card runs up the balance on the account. Negative consequences affect all credit scores associated with an account, yours included.

Preventative Measures

A general rule of thumb is to close any joint accounts before the divorce process begins. Unfortunately, in some situations, a vindictive spouse may sabotage their former partner’s credit score by making large purchases with no intention of paying the balance. Closing accounts or removing a spouse from an account can help avoid this situation.

Other preventative measures you can take include maintaining an amicable relationship with your spouse throughout the divorce and working together with your ex to pay down credit card balances and ultimately close the accounts entirely. You may be able to work with lenders to pay the amount in full or settle for a lower total. You can also communicate with lenders to convert a joint account into an individual account. No matter your decision, it is best to clear up any loose ends as soon as possible, so you can begin rebuilding your credit once your divorce is finalized.

A DuPage County Family Law Attorney Can Help

If you are considering divorce and are worried about how the process will impact your credit score, the Wheaton divorce lawyers at Andrew Cores Family Law Group can answer your questions and address your concerns. Our experienced attorneys will walk you through the divorce process and advise you of how to protect your finances and your credit. Call us today at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free initial consultation.




Keeping Costs Under Control During a Divorce

costs, DuPage County family law attorneyA divorce can be an extremely expensive undertaking in terms of both money and time invested. As a matter of fact, most individuals who are thinking about a divorce tend to ask about the associated costs as one of their first questions. It is impossible to predict exactly how much your divorce will cost you, as the related expenses can vary dramatically from case to case. Your costs will largely depend on the circumstances of your situation, the level of cooperation between you and your spouse, and your expectations regarding the outcome.

Planning Ahead

Preparation is among the most important ways that you can facilitate a cost-effective divorce. Your planning should begin several months before you file your divorce petition. To begin, make a comprehensive list of what you own, including both marital and non-marital property, and think about what your priorities are. Decide which things you want to keep, which things your spouse can have, and which things could go either way. If both of you agree that a divorce is your best course of action, you may be surprised at how well can cooperate at this point.

If you have children, you will need to begin making similar plans regarding them as well. Deciding on parental responsibilities is usually more difficult than dividing property, but it is important to begin the conversation as soon as possible. Every issue that can be resolved in advance is one less concern that you will need to spend time and money on once the divorce actually begins.

Choosing Your Battles

No matter what you may have heard, it is not really possible to “win” a divorce case, but there are often two losers when a divorce becomes a breeding ground for acrimony and bitterness. When you are tempted to stand your ground and fight tooth-and-nail over small details, remember that your costs are continuing to accrue.

Your time would probably better spend on determining a few issues that are really worth your attention and perseverance. Once you have identified those, let the other things go. If your soon-to-be ex is demanding to keep a piece of furniture that you bought together—and is not that important to you—recognize the temptation to argue about it for the sake of arguing, then let it go. It is likely that your spouse will offer you the same courtesy over another item that matters more to you.

Hiring an Attorney

At first glance, it may seem ridiculous to try to save money by paying someone to help with your divorce, but hiring a lawyer can help reduce costs during your divorce and in the years to come. Your lawyer can help you file the necessary paperwork, which minimizes the chance of errors. Additionally, your attorney can help you avoid mistakes that lead to thousands of dollars in unnecessary spousal support, child support, or forfeited assets.

If you would like to learn more about how an attorney can actually save you money during your divorce, contact a Wheaton family lawyer. Call 630-871-1002 for a free, no-obligation consultation at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today.





Misrepresenting Financial Status During a Divorce Can Be Disastrous

financial, DuPage County divorce attorneysWhen we think of divorce, many of us initially only consider the personal and romantic relationship which is coming to an end. However, divorce is not only the end of a romantic partnership, but also a financial relationship. Finances are usually merged when two people get married and move in together. Divorcing couples who cannot agree on how to split their accumulated assets will have that decision made for them by the court system.

Hiding Assets or Lying About Finances Will Only Drag Out Your Divorce

In order to make decisions about things like child support, spousal maintenance and property division, courts use each divorcing party’s self-reported financial information. For example, when a judge needs to decide how much spousal maintenance a person must pay to their ex, he or she will consider things such as each person’s income and future employability. Sometimes, in order to game the system, a spouse will lie about how much money they make or what their debts are. Doing this can significantly delay and complicate the divorce process. In order for a divorce to go smoothly, both spouses must be willing to be honest regarding their finances.

Ways a Spouse May Attempt to Defraud

It can be more difficult than you might imagine to spot someone lying about their finances during a divorce. Some married couples are very secretive about their assets and property, so a spouse suspicious of the other may not even know where to look to find clues of deception. There are many different tactics a person can use to misrepresent their financial status. A divorcing spouse attempting to deceive the court regarding their assets may

  • Hide antiques, jewelry, fine art, or other valuables at someone else’s house;
  • Take out cash from bank account(s) and put it in an unknown deposit box;
  • Make unusually large purchases;
  • Sign deeds to real estate over to another person;
  • Exaggerate debts;
  • Falsify self-owned business ledgers;
  • Underreport employee benefits such as retirement accounts or stock options;
  • Pay the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) more than they are due; and
  • Make copious cash withdrawals on credit or debit cards.

Negative Consequences for Those Who Hide Assets

If a person gets caught lying about his or her finances during a divorce, they are at the mercy of the judge assigned to their case. A judge may order a deceitful spouse to pay penalties, or sanctions in order to compensate for his or her wrongdoing. Furthermore, the judge may force the lying spouse to relinquish remaining assets to his or her spouse or pay more in spousal maintenance. A person who continually lies or attempts to deceive the court during a divorce case can be charged with contempt and even arrested.

Considering Divorce? Let Us Help

If you are planning to divorce your spouse or you have further questions about hidden assets, reach out to the experienced Wheaton divorce attorneys at the Andrew Cores Family Law Group. To schedule a free, confidential consultation call 630-871-1002 today.