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Washington residents need to maintain decent credit in order to start over again after a divorce. However, things that happen in the divorce itself could place their credit score at risk to drop. Being proactive and vigilant while the marriage is concluding is the key to maintaining sound credit that can help the transition to a new life.

The first thing to do is get to the bottom of exactly which accounts may be affected by the spouse. Those that are joint accounts are at risk of credit in them being run up by one spouse before the divorce is final. One should learn every single one of their credit accounts. Then, they should take steps to close the joint accounts. If both spouses’ names are on the account, they will both be responsible for the debt no matter which one incurred it. Thus, a spouse should cancel these accounts.

Then, the spouse should make sure to communicate with the creditors about the status of the account. The creditor will then know to be on the lookout for anything that looks suspicious. Finally, if there is a risk that unauthorized credit will be taken out in their name, a spouse should give strong consideration to placing a freeze on their credit. This is a drastic option but will greatly reduce the risk that the divorce could cripple their credit.

Debt has become a major issue in many divorces as more households than ever owe large amounts of money. The division of debt in a divorce is a growing concern. One should consult a divorce attorney to learn about whether and how they can protect themselves from debt during the dissolution of the marriage. The attorney may negotiate the divorce agreement to reflect the fact that the couple is carrying high levels of debt.