By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
The first thing I recommend to clients who are contemplating divorce, is to remove your name from your spouse’s credit card if you are the secondary card holder. Do this by phone, followed up with a letter. You can also contact the credit card companies and inform them of the pending divorce and ask that all joint card accounts be frozen. The date of filing for divorce customarily is the cut off date as to what is marital debt. However, the judge has discretion to otherwise order another date depending upon the case by case facts.
So assuming you or your spouse has maxed out the credit cards, here is my advice:
1. Get copies of your credit report from all 3 agencies.
2. Remove your name from accounts your are secondary holder on.
3. Remove your spouse’s name from cards you use regularly and pay for yourself.
4. Be sure to make the minimum payments at the least to keep your credit score up.
5. If you discover accounts you have no responsibility for or are not an authorized user on, call and write to the credit reporting agency to have your name removed and your credit report corrected. Follow up.
6. Call creditors on your credit report that lists accounts you no longer use. Ask the creditor to remove your name, but more importantly, to stop reporting your name to the credit bureaus.
7. The three credit bureaus are Equifax, Transunion, Experian.
For more information about this subject or other divorce proceedings, click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at www.familylawwpb.com or call for a consultation appointment with one of the attorneys at the Firm at 561-835-9091.