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Could divorce actually improve your credit score?

The end of a Maryland marriage will have an impact on the financial standing of both spouses. The process of dividing marital assets and debt, structuring child support and/or alimony and obtaining new insurance policies will all come into play. While there can be no doubt that each party will have to adjust to a new financial structure, not all of these changes will be negative. In fact, some spouses will enjoy improved credit scores in the months and years following a divorce.

When a couple gets married, they often merge their financial lives. Even those who seek to keep their finances separate cannot avoid some level of connection. Buying a home, opening a credit card or financing furniture will all lead to accounts that will impact each party's credit score. If both spouses are not on the same page in regard to financial management, it is likely that one will suffer credit damage as a result.

Decreased credit scores can result from a number of factors. Late payments will lower the score of both parties listed on a mortgage. High balances on credit cards will likewise harm scores. Even opening and closing various lines of credit will have an effect. Even worse, when one spouse handles all of the family finances, the other could be unaware of their decreased credit score until they attempt to open a new line of credit.

When a couple goes through a divorce, a number of changes will take place to disentangle their finances. Some assets may be sold or transferred into one spouse's name. Open credit cards may be paid down or closed. New credit may be secured in order to establish a new household.

All of these changes will affect each party's credit score. While the initial result may be a drastically lowered score as a result of so many changes, those numbers will steadily rise as new patterns of credit management are established. The end result of a divorce could be a far better credit score than was in place during a Maryland marriage.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Want to boost your credit score? Get divorced, Christine Digangi, Feb. 13, 2014

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