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Financial independence after divorce

As part of the divorce process, an individual in California will want to make sure that all joint debts are paid off in full. Preferably, debts will be paid off prior to the split occurring. However, it may be necessary to divide up joint debts as part of a divorce settlement. It is important to note that creditors may come after either person listed on a joint debt regardless of who was required to pay it as part of the divorce decree.

In addition to paying off and closing joint accounts, individuals should start building credit in their own name. Credit scores can range from 300 to 850, and a person is considered to have good credit when his or her score is at 740 or higher. It may be also be a good idea to adopt best practices, such as paying off credit cards each month to maintain that score.

Individuals who have just gotten a divorce should monitor their credit reports on a regular basis. This is because an unpaid bill from a joint account that is still open could impact a credit score or history. The major credit agencies are required to provide free copies of a person's credit report once per year. Bank and credit statements should also be scrutinized to check for unauthorized purchases.

Dividing marital property may mean more than deciding who gets the house or car. It may also mean deciding who is responsible for paying debts accrued during the marriage. While both parties may be responsible for paying off certain debts, it may not necessarily be a 50/50 split. Talking to an attorney may make it possible to create a debt-sharing proposal that may be favorable to an individual as well as valid under the law.

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