Ending a marriage could have a significant impact on a person’s financial situation. According to a 2019 survey, 38% of respondents said that their credit scores dropped more than 50 points after their relationships ended. However, there are steps that Virginia residents might be able to take to keep maintain their positive credit scores and histories. For instance, individuals should look for any joint credit card or other accounts that they are associated with.

As a general rule, both parties can be held responsible for paying the outstanding balance on an account when a marriage ends. This is typically true even if one person is required to pay it down as part of a divorce decree or other agreement. Those who are worried that their former spouses won’t fulfill their obligation to repay a debt may want to pay it off themselves.

It is also a good idea for a person to remove a spouse as an authorized user on a credit card. Individuals are encouraged to check their credit reports regularly before, during and after a divorce. This may make it possible to ensure that information about an account is accurately reported to credit agencies. It can also help to prevent a former spouse from accruing new debt on a joint account without an individual finding out about it.

A family law attorney may be able to help a person resolve divorce or child custody issues that may arise. These issues might relate to how a couple decides to pay outstanding credit card, auto loan or mortgage debt. In some cases, parents may not agree about who pays for extracurricular activities or where their children sleep during the week. An attorney may represent an individual whether a case is resolved through mediation or litigation.