Ending a marriage can impact many different aspects of person’s life, from where one lives to the household income. While change can be a good thing, divorce can have unintended consequences for those who are not aware of how dividing debt can impact the future. Here is what Texas divorcees should understand about protecting their credit scores during divorce.

Just like dividing up bank accounts and other property, debt must also be dealt with during property division. In general, any debt accumulated during a marriage is considered marital property regardless of who did the spending or borrowing. This means that it is possible for a person to end up being responsible for repaying a debt that has only his or her ex-spouse’s name attached. Each person’s responsibility for repaying which debts are laid out in a couple’s divorce decree.

While divorced couples are legally obligated to honor their divorce decrees, creditors are not. This can cause issues when one person is responsible for repaying a joint credit card account but either falls behind on payments or refuses to pay. In such cases, creditors can come after the ex-spouse for payment. Late payments on joint accounts also show up on credit reports, which can effectively lower scores that had already taken a hit.

Filing for divorce does not affect credit scores, but actions taken during and after divorce certainly can. It is important for divorcing couples in Texas to be astutely aware of how the decisions they make during property division can ultimately impact their post-divorce financial stability. Since family law can be complicated, seeking guidance from an experienced attorney is usually well advised.