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The importance of canceling joint credit cards in divorce

Californians who are getting divorced may need to figure out how to handle joint credit cards. Even if the divorce court orders one spouse to pay his or her portion of the credit card debts, both exes could still have problems with the collectors. This is because credit card companies do not have to follow the orders of the family court.

If one ex-spouse fails to pay his or her part of the joint credit card debt, the creditors could go after both exes for repayment. Even if the other spouse goes to court to seek an indemnity order, the credit score may already be harmed.

Early in the divorce case, it is a good idea for a spouse to file a notice in the court of all of the joint credit cards and balances. One can seek an injunction that applies to both spouses that neither can add new debt to the joint credit cards. The spouses can then negotiate an agreement concerning how to leave the marriage without any joint debt. Each might open a new credit card and transfer half of the joint debt onto each new card. The old joint cards could then be canceled.

In divorces, property division includes separating both assets and debts. That's why soon-to-be exes might benefit from consulting with experienced family law attorneys and financial planners. These professionals can provide a clearer idea of how a divorce might impact one's finances. An attorney may also help to negotiate an agreement on how to handle the debts.

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