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Divorce complications can affect credit, homebuying ability

With any luck, the settlement a person makes at the end of a marriage is clear and final so that it won't affect them unexpectedly in the future. However, if during a divorce the settlement is not clear or loose ends are not tied up, lingering credit and debt problems could reduce a person's ability to purchase a home and can damage his or her credit. In Florida, a person can hope to avoid these issues by applying some common suggestions. 

For example, in the final divorce decree, when assigning debt, one should be very specific. Instead of saying just "Visa card," one should add the account number and the exact balance. Steps should be taken to remove one's name from joint accounts so that the person's ex will not be able to make additional purchases and rack up the bill. Even if a settlement assigns the debt to one person, a creditor will come after any person whose name is on the account.

A person may also want to consider how the child support and alimony payments will be structured. To have alimony counted as income, it is better to have it stretch over a longer period of time than to have larger payments. A person will likely also need to show at least a six-month record of receiving child support payments and documents that show it will continue for at least three years. 

Careful planning during the divorce process can save later credit headaches. If an individual anticipates that he or she will need to purchase a home after a breakup, then he or she can reduce difficulties by making the settlement crystal clear. For more help in Florida, a person may choose to consult with a family law attorney. 

Source: floridatoday.com, "Dyer: Avoiding complications from a divorce when home buying", Bobbie Dyer, March 21, 2018

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