FICO and Divorce

How a divorce can trash your credit score and what to do about it…

A divorce can provide many opportunities for credit destruction. The mere act of setting up two households can place a huge strain on finances not to mention extortionate levels of child support or alimony ordered by the court (I was ordered to pay 90% of my income in “temporary” support orders). 

On the other hand, there are also vindictive attacks on your credit. In Nevada, your assets and liabilities remain community property until the divorce decree is signed by the judge. Thus, your soon-to-be-ex wife can rack up debts, clear out bank accounts, and not pay bills – damaging the credit of both of you. Nevada has a provision for a “joint preliminary injunction” that orders both parties to not accrue debt. However, these orders can and do get violated all the time. 

My ex-wife has also used a creative ploy of not paying the co-pays for medical visits involving my children. The bills get sent to her address but I am the ‘guarantor’ on the health insurance policy. So when the bill goes to collections, the collection agency holds me responsible for the unpaid $15 bill that I have never seen. Two of these collections in the last six months have seen my FICO score plunge by 80 points. 

The solution is to file a motion seeking a) damages for credit destruction and b) a court ordered deletion notice to remove the negative information. While courts may find it difficult to quantify the damages (although services are springing up offering to value the effect of lost credit), they have an easier time of issuing a deletion notice that instructs the credit agencies to remove the offending information.

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11 Responses to FICO and Divorce

  1. Stacy says:

    How in the hell do these women get away with this? My daughter’s dad is over $20,000.00 behind in child support, has not paid the court ordered health insurance, copays and 50% of unpaid medical expenses…EVER! The good get screwed and the bad get to screw them!

  2. twobuyfour says:

    Love your blog. Very informative. It’s very easy for the world to view dads as the problem, since that’s what makes a good story. You do a good job of presenting facts without appearing bitter or malicious. Please keep up the good work.

  3. larrygirlks says:

    It’s unfortunate that such a small amount of “bad” debt (not assigning blame to you or ex)can have such a huge impact on one’s credit rating.
    And now; one small comment about who pays what, who’s s’posed to pay what, and who got the bill when someone didn’t pay….
    I can’t speak for every kid with divorced parents but to me NONE OF YOU GET IT…
    When I was 7 I was playing afterschool when I fell backwards off of the monkey bars, smacking the back of my head on every single rung of the side ladder on my way down. (I was inspector gadget, and my go-go-gadget legs (my sister) gave out) When I regained consciousness i was scared. I was scared I was really hurt, because then I would have to tell my mom. She would have to leave work, which would be bad because she had no sick leave, vacation time, no nice boss. We’d have to go to the emergency room-no health insurance- MY DAD’S FAULT because my mom had to take a new job with when my dad cheated and left) MY MOM’S FAULT because she didn’t tell my dad about changing jobs soon enough, oh and because she’s unstable and materialistic)She would yell, he would yell…my head hurt.long story short I was so aware of their conflict with each other and they were so unaware of anything but themselves that today you’d have a hard time convincing me that they almost killed me that day. My sister fessed up when I passed out in the bathtub after dinner, but I WOULD HAVE DIED before I listened to my parents list off for the millionth ime who did or didn’t do what or how this one was stuck with higher car payments because the other never paid a bill on time and how they both hoped I’d never need braces because my dad couldn’t afford it on top of what “my mom made him pay” and my mom couldn’t-we were already living “paycheck to paycheck, if my dad’s check didn’t bounce.” Please, please, stop. As a parent now myself, here’s what I try to do:
    Be resourceful.
    Be grateful. (Your ex took your child to the dr right? She’s a good, caring mom. That’s what all kids need. And you sound very smart and money-wise…share that knowledge with your kids…you know you can do it without one bad word about your ex.
    I’m in charge. That means, I’m responsible. That means, I get to enjoy the good things in my life duty free but I’m also accountable- C.Y.A. Cover Your Ass. I know it’s not fair, but now you know where you’re vulnerable. Call the Doctor’s office and the insurance co. for that matter (in writing, even better) and notify them of YOUR address, where bills are expected to be sent, if they want to be paid. Do something to protect yourself. Some people are just bad managing bills, your ex has probably neglected bills before. so just take care of it and move on. And if you’re already thinking to yourself “But SHE’S SUPPOSED TO PAY THE CO-PAYS….at least I tried. Good luck and to Stacy–stop being a victim! Hold your head up for god’s sake.

  4. Please follow my page titled “NY Wall of Shame” for judges and lawyers in NY Family Courts and Supreme Court.

  5. Very well said. i have been thru such a divorce and lost huge part of my fortune to my divorced wife. Good Lord! Nice info by the way.

  6. pauljames says:

    I find your post very interesting. You have depicted very good facts that is very useful. Thanks for sharing.
    best divorce lawyer

  7. I completely agree with your post. You have wirtten very well. Nice post man. Thank you.

  8. Bozo says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your story. You must realize what a godsend this is. Beginning my own odyssey in divorcing a BPD husband, and it helps an enormous amount to hear about your experience. Your thoughts and conclusions ring clear and true. You hang in there

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