Before deciding to get a divorce, some couples choose to separate. This provides them some time to evaluate their options in perhaps a less adversarial living situation. 

When choosing their future path, each spouse may put effort into identifying their joint assets and how they may wish to share those with their partner. At the same time, each person should educate themselves about how shared debts may be addressed should they proceed to get a divorce. 

Account owner names matter 

Some people may believe that they need only to detail the agreements they make with their spouse regarding debt responsibility in their official divorce decree. This, however, may not sufficiently protect them against future debt collection efforts or negative credit bureau reports. 

As explained by Bankrate, a creditor may consider any person identified as an account owner on a credit account as financially liable for the debt regardless of any terms spelled out in a legal divorce decree. The person responsible to repay a debt per the divorce decree may fail to do so for whatever reason. This leaves the door open for the other spouse to be asked to pay the debt. They may also experience credit report damage due to late or missed payments on the part of their former spouse. 

Mortgages and homes 

According to The Mortgage Report, home loan lenders may also pursue repayment from the person who chose to leave a family home should the other partner fail to keep up with the mortgage payments. Obtaining a new mortgage may be wise for any person wishing to stay in their home after a divorce.