Michael G. Putter Attorney at Law
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Debt doesn't go away when a divorce is finalized

If you are working towards a divorce in New York, there's something very important you must understand: Debt does not go away once the divorce is finalized. Take a minute to let that sink in. You will still be responsible for the debt that was accrued during the marriage. This can be quite the shock to some people, especially those who are stuck paying it all back because their former spouse refuses to do so.

No matter what agreement you come to when getting a divorce, your lenders will not care. It won't matter to them that your former spouse said they will pay all of the debt or that both of you will be making monthly payments. The only thing the lender cares about is receiving a payment each month by the due date. It's that simple.

If it is debt from a loan that still needs to be paid back, you can protect yourself and your credit by removing your name from the loan. You might have co-signed the loan to help your former spouse acquire it. Now it's time to cut your ties completely. You should also consider paying off the loan and then opening new ones in your name only.

Repaying any debt you have is the best idea when getting a divorce. This will make it easier to finalize the divorce, and it won't put your credit score at risk should your former spouse fail to make payments. You will still be responsible for any debt, even if it is solely in their name, after the divorce is finalized.

Now that you know debt doesn't come off your record after a divorce is finalized, you can begin to prepare for making payments. You should also find some way to make sure your former spouse will continue to help pay down any debt the two of you built up in the marriage.

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