Dietz Family Law PLLC - Divorce

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Avoiding complications when dividing credit card debt in divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2022 | Divorce |

For many couples facing divorce in Kentucky, property division is the biggest issue to address. After years of shared finances and cohabitation, it can be hard to even consider the logistics of living independently. Trying to decide how to split your property and responsibilities can feel like an insurmountable challenge.

Careful analysis is often necessary to negotiate an appropriate property settlement. Kentucky is one of a majority of states that follow equitable distribution rules. A judge dividing your property in a contested divorce would have to focus on what is fair given your unique marital circumstances, not just on what would be a 50/50 split. Dividing your property is important, but dividing your debt can be crucial, too, especially when it comes to shared credit cards.

Improper management of debt in divorce can cause later heartaches

High-asset and complex divorces frequently involve significant amounts of debt, from the balance due on the mortgage on the marital home to credit cards used for shopping and daily living expenses.

You need to split those debts just like you have to split your marital assets. Reaching an agreement with your ex about how to get your credit cards or having a property settlement order from the court is only the first step in dividing debt.

Your ex could fall behind on credit card payments

Even if you have an agreement or court order regarding the debt, there is no guarantee that your ex will fulfill their obligations. They might lose their job and fall behind on bills. They might even stop paying the accounts that they shared with you out of spite.

When that happens, the creditors could potentially still hold you accountable. In fact, they could come after you for the balances still due if your ex files for bankruptcy to avoid paying.

How can you protect yourself from credit card debt in a divorce?

If you are the cosigner for any of your shared credit card accounts, you have to close those accounts to ensure you won’t face future collection activity. Your ex may need to refinance some of the debt or transfer the credit card balances to a new account they open.

Only when you have closed the accounts or fully paid them off are you protected from your ex defaulting on a debt they assume responsibility for in your divorce. Looking realistically at the debts that you have and creating a workable plan for their management will be crucial steps to protect yourself in a complex Kentucky divorce.

 

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