Well, now that the smoke has cleared. The divorce is final and everyone has gone their separate ways. Now, in retrospect, let's look back at the actual divorce proceedings. I can not get it through my "think head" why there are always (3) fools at every one of these decisions.
No, you and your ex-husband are not necessarily the fools I speak of. But let's look at the two attorneys and the, supposedly fair minded Judge. Has this happened to you? Your attorney tells the Judge "my client should have custody of the children because they are better off with Mom and their father is a bum". Something like that. Now the Judge nods his head and agreements.
Now here comes "sweetie pie's" attorney and says "Judge, my client needs the car so that he can get back and forth to work in order to pay child support". Judge nods again. So, here we have it. Sweetie Pie is awarded the car to get to work. However, the Judge failed to find out whether or not "Sweetie Pie" had any credit. He simply wave him the car. BUT, by not finding out who was the guarantor on that loan, he now becomes the (3) fool.
Fast forward. Sweetie Pie does what he has always done. He does not make the payments. The car is repossessed and you are now faced with repossession on your credit report because of the three fools mentioned above.
Here you are, working your "butt" off trying to raise the kids and "zero" credit. Oh, how about those credit cards that both of you had while you were in "la la" land? Time to sit down and take inventory of your personal situation and the road that was traveled to get here.
IF, and that is a big IF, you were the authorized user, then you are not legally responsible for the debt. PERIOD. That is law. But, the credit card companies will insure that because you used the cards, you owe the money. Not so, Charley. IF, you did not sign the application as a co-guarantor but were purely added as an authorized user, they can not make you responsible for that debt. Do not buy anyone's theory about this. In a court of law, no proof of the debt with your signature, then there is no debt.
Here is where I want you to pay attention. If, in a situation where an attorney produces a document with what looks like your signature, but that document is purely copy and not the original or a certified copy, then you must simply say, "it looks like my signature".
When the credit card companies have you as a co-guarantor on an account that is a totally different animal. You should contact the credit card company, immediately after the divorce proceedings and ask them to remove your name from that account effective the date that they are notified. DO NOT let this go without notifying them. Sweetie Pie, may have a new lady and here they are having a shopping spree while you are still responsible for that debt.
As soon as possible, apply for a new credit card in your name only. If your credit has already taken a big hit, apply for a secured credit card. They are very simple to get. You just put up a couple of hundred bucks with them and they will use that money to guarantee you will pay the bill. Most of these companies will increase your credit limit as you pay your bills on time.
I have seen a single mom, start out with a credit limit of $ 300 after she put the same amount into their account. In less than a year, they sent her back her $ 300 and her credit limit had increased to $ 1,500. So, you do not have to live the rest of your life in credit prison.
If you have to move in with Mom or another relative or friend, pay them rent. Even, if they do not want the money. Make sure you give them a check and if they want to give the money back to you, have them write you a check. In this manner you can prove after a year that you have a solid rental history. You will, be needing this in the future.
Now, if you are faced with bill collectors or collection advocates that is another article. Look at some of our other articles and if you can not find what you need, we will be publishing more credit articles for the "single parent".
Respectfully, Regis Sauger