It’s unfortunate, but it happens: one spouse takes advantage of the other during a divorce and drains the family’s financial resources by making selfish, and often unjustifiable, purchases. When this happens, your credit can suffer serious damage that’s not always easy to repair. The first step is to call your North York divorce lawyer as soon as you discover the spending. Your lawyer can help you understand the situation and take steps to fix it right away.
Your Ex and Your Credit
Your North York divorce lawyer might recommend that you separate all your joint accounts as soon as possible. If you’ve already done that and your ex has used your credit cards fraudulently, you’re facing an entirely different situation; if you haven’t, your lawyer will probably encourage you to come to an agreement with your ex about the distribution of the debt and plans for its repayment. In some cases, parties can’t come to an agreement on their own and the court needs to step in.
Fast Damage Control
Talk to your lawyer before you do anything to make sure you won’t negatively affect your case. Your lawyer might suggest that you:
- Call your creditors. Sometimes explaining your situation can encourage your creditors to give you more time before demanding repayment, which allows you the chance to work things out with your spouse or wait on the court’s decision without damaging your standing.
- Cancel your credit cards. If your ex still has access to your cards or account numbers, your North York divorce lawyer might suggest that you cancel them to prevent further use and minimize the financial damage.
- Report your ex for using your cards fraudulently. You can only report your ex for fraud if he or she is genuinely unauthorized to use your credit lines. Check with your North York divorce lawyer before you accuse your ex of fraud, because the consequences are very severe and could harm your case—especially if your accusation isn’t founded on the truth.
Digging Yourself out of Your Ex’s Debt
Your North York divorce lawyer will fight for your rights under the law. He or she might recommend that you talk with a financial adviser who can help you sort out your debts, both marital and individual, and can help you create a repayment plan that fits within your budget.
Make sure your lawyer has an accurate picture of your financial situation by keeping all your credit card statements, bills and other financial documents on-hand. That way, he or she can help protect you from your ex’s bad financial decisions during and after your divorce.