Divorce is hard enough as you separate combined assets, children and debt. Another area that feels the effects of divorce long after you sign documents is your credit score. Most people do not check their credit report unless they plan to make a large purchase such as a home or sign up for a credit card. Your spouse may still affect your credit even after divorce.
According to Experian, any joint accounts affect both your credit history and scores. The contracts jointly signed during marriage continue even after divorce. The signed decree names the responsible party but does not necessarily remove your name from the account or contract.
An ex-spouse who misses payments on an account negatively impacts your credit score if you are still on the account. During the divorce, a contentious spouse may purchase a new car or max out a credit card to hurt the other spouse. These actions still affect the spouses post-divorce.
Individual accounts held before marriage and still in good standing can help you credit score and history. These accounts may help balance out those joint accounts negatively affected by the divorce. With an individual account, the soon-to-be-ex or ex-spouse has less opportunity to damage your credit.
A civil relationship during the divorce proceedings may help lower the credit impact of the separation. Another way to lessen the credit impact is to have those joint accounts separated into individual accounts. With only one name on the account, it clearly shows who is responsible to the credit agencies.