Joint credit card debt can complicate your divorce

On Behalf of The Law Offices of Ronda A. Middleton |

Once you decide to divorce, some of your attention will immediately turn to property division. Not only should you understand the difference between separate and marital property in California, but you must also have a comprehensive list of both types to ensure that nothing is overlooked.

Around this time, you should turn your attention to any joint credit card debt you’re carrying. This has the potential to complicate your divorce, especially if you don’t consider all of your options.

Here are some of the best ways to deal with joint credit card debt in a divorce:

  • Tally it up: It doesn’t matter if you have one joint credit card or several, it’s critical to have a clear idea of your total balance. This gives you a better idea of how to tackle the debt now and in the future.
  • Pay if off together before your divorce: If you have enough money to do so, you can agree with your soon-to-be ex-spouse to pay off the debt before the divorce process begins. This removes one more thing from your plate, which works in your favor down the road.
  • Divide up the debt: If paying it off isn’t an option, transfer the debt to a card in each person’s name. For example, if you have $10,000 in credit card debt, you can both take on the responsibility of paying $5,000. Once you do this, you’re then 100 percent responsible for your portion of the balance.
  • Cancel all joint credit cards: Failure to do so can result in additional challenges, such as if the other party racks up a large amount of debt without your permission.
  • Keep detailed records: Make note of any charges you made, as well as those by the other individual. Also, keep copies of your most recent credit card statements.

If you take these steps, you will find it easier to deal with joint credit card debt before and during the divorce process.

As you proceed, do whatever you can to protect your legal and financial rights. The decisions you make during the divorce process will impact you in many ways in the future.

Visit our website and read our blog for more information on divorce and other family law topics.

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