How to Prevent Identity Theft by a Spouse

Marital instability and divorce are very scary and stressful events in your life. If you are going through them, you already know that beyond emotional wounds, financial insecurity and your financial future may be up in the air. During this volatile time, when your wife or ex-wife may be emotionally charged or financially starved, identity theft is a major risk.

More than likely your wife or ex-wife has much of your personal information including your credit card numbers, social security number, and even access to your bank accounts. She can easily access your money, and potentially your credit if you do not make arrangements for control of your assets.

Pay Attention to Your Credit

First, hold her accountable for her actions. During the divorce process, have a divorce attorney for men in Jacksonville, Gainesville, Daytona, Fleming Island or Boca Raton setup an agreement that all debts incurred during the marriage will be paid off equally by both parties afterward. This will force her to pay for any credit she takes out in your name, or charges she takes out with your credit cards and bank account.

Opening fraudulent accounts and making fraudulent purchases can be used as a means to gain money before or after a divorce, but also as a way to leave a lasting scar on your credit and financial functionality in the future. Even if your wife or ex-wife is financially stable, continue to watch your credit and freeze or draw up plans for debt payment to protect yourself as best as possible.

Second, freeze all your credit. Freezing your credit puts a hold on any requests for credit through the three major credit reporting agencies. A freeze on your credit will stop anybody from being able to open an account in your name until your credit is thawed. Generally this is a free process, however, if you are economically unstable to begin with, this may be a difficult for you to do.

Take Care of Debt

Third, pay off all debt incurred as soon as possible, even if it is fraudulent or caused by identity theft. Debt will continue to gain interest and grow whether it is fraudulent or not. Many times, even if the debt is determined to be from identity theft of your spouse, because of community debt practices, you will still be responsible even if the debt is incurred through identity theft. Also, if you do make a claim, many times these cases take months to resolve and during that time your account will still be gaining interest and hurting your credit as it becomes delinquent. Paying off or down your debt is the best way to defend your credit.

Put Everything in Writing

Fourth, make all agreements in writing. A divorce attorney for men in Jacksonville, Gainesville, Daytona, Fleming Island or Boca Raton can help you create documents that protect you from claims of money owed or assets not accounted for in the final divorce decree. This includes alimony, child support, and any debt incurred during the marriage that both parties are accountable for. 

Separating your spouse from your financial documents is also important to avoid any further use of your social security number or credit card information. When you cut all contact from your spouse, be sure that you take with you or redirect all financial documents and information to decrease the possibility of her getting a hold of any information she could abuse.

Holding your wife or ex-wife accountable for the debt by constructing a method to pay off communal debt can help prevent one sided losses, and lessen the potential impact of negative credit reporting. Freeze all your credit by requesting a freeze with the three major credit bureaus; this will stop any more credit from being taken out in your name. Pay off all debt immediately, the longer debt sits, the more it gains interest and hurts your credit. Make all arrangements, and especially financial ones in writing, a divorce attorney for men can create any divorce related documents you may need to protect yourself. Finally, separate your spouse from your financial documents and yourself; protect yourself and your financial future from any potential damage.

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