When you are married, it's likely that you'll make purchases alongside your spouse. And when you use a credit card to do so, it's possible that you'll begin to tally a balance.
Credit card debt is something that plagues millions of couples across the country. While you understand what it takes to pay it off while you're married, things become a bit more complex if you decide to divorce.
It's important to have a plan for how to manage joint credit card debt in divorce. Here are some of the things you can do:
- Pay it off before you divorce: If possible, eliminate joint credit card debt before you begin to tackle the divorce process. The best way of doing so is to use joint savings to pay off your joint debt.
- Divide the debt: If you don't have the financial means to pay off your entire balance, divide the joint debt onto separate cards. This is easily done through the use of a balance transfer credit card.
- Cancel joint credit cards: Once you split the balance onto individual cards, cancel all joint credit cards. This eliminates the potential for you and/or your ex to continue using the card, which will only complicate your divorce.
- Divide it in divorce: If you're unable to devise a plan before your divorce, joint credit card debt is something you'll need to discuss during the process itself. Just the same as assets, you'll divide any debt you jointly carry.
- File for bankruptcy: It's a big decision, but filing for bankruptcy before you divorce allows you to discharge many of your debts. This puts both of you in a better financial position in the future.
If you don't think about joint credit card debt pre-divorce, you're forced to deal with it as you attempt to juggle a variety of other details pertaining to your assets and liabilities.
The most important thing to remember is that you want to do what is fair. If you have joint credit card debt, realize that you need to do your part in paying it. But if your imminent ex brought the debt into the marriage, you may not be responsible for any of it. Knowing your legal rights in Colorado can help protect your finances.