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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Removing financial liability for property after divorce

Many citizens of Texas have had to undergo the divorce process, but the financial repercussions of the marriage do not necessarily end at the same time as the marriage. Even after the divorce decree is years old, it can be possible for an ex-spouse to be the target of collection efforts and subject to damage to their credit rating due to possible financial inaction or irresponsibility on the part of the other former partner.

Property division rules in Texas decree that all assets obtained during the marriage are to be considered "common property" and divided in even shares between the parties. After the divorce, when the house has been assigned to one partner or the other as part of the divorce settlement, there may be a further necessity to contact creditors and inform them that joint accounts are now single and shared liabilities now belong to one individual.

It can be helpful to monitor credit reports closely as an unexplained drop in credit rating can signal a problem with the ex-partner's finances still affecting the ex-spouse. It may sometimes be necessary to refinance the property in order to remove a person's name from the property title that was once shared.

Having a clear credit record and no extraneous liability can be beneficial when attempting to move on with a post-marital life and purchase a new home or property. Although it may be possible to work with the other ex-spouse, especially when a friendly relationship has been maintained, properly apportioning debt must be carried out even without full cooperation. An attorney can represent their client as they seek to contest outdated debts and clear their name with credit agencies. They may also be able to recommend specific courses of action to remove names from titles and minimize liability exposure.

Source:, "How to Divide Your House in a Divorce", Scott Sheldon, July 09, 2014

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