Money is always a heated topic in divorce. And, sometimes, if a marriage has a spouse that controls most, if not all, of the family’s wealth, they may attempt to block the other spouse from accessing all marriage funds and lines of credit (i.e., removing them from bank accounts, removing them as authorized users, etc.). Though, even for simple divorces, money and credit cards will come up, and a common question is whether to open new credit cards.
For spouses without credit cards
For spouses that do not have credit cards in their name, but have, instead, been authorized users on the other spouse’s credit cards, opening a card in their own name is likely a good idea. Being an authorized user allows one to build their own credit, based on the spouse’s credit line. This can help with a higher credit score, and the current dual-income household income will be much larger than post-divorce. Both factors will help one get a new credit line with more favorable terms, which will make transitioning to a single-income household much easier, especially if one is transitioned back to full-time work.
For spouses that already have credit cards
For couple that were more financially equal, where both spouses have their own credit accounts, the answer is not straight forward. Answering this question could require consultation with a CPA, lawyer or financial advisor. This is because, as explained above, one’s dual-income household income will make getting new credit easier. But, since both spouses are independently, financially stable, a new credit line may not be needed. This is why, working with a professional on one’s post-divorce financial goals can be useful.
As our Lakeland, Florida, readers can see, the answer is not always straight forward on whether to take out new credit cards during a divorce. This is because everyone’s situation is different, and as a result, everyone’s post-divorce financial plans will similarly be different.