Many divorcing couples find that they have many assets to divide. Along the way, they learn that they have just as many debts that must also be split and paid down.
Joint credit card debt is common, as married couples often use credit cards as a means of making big purchases, managing their finances and maintaining their standard of living.
Here are some steps you can take to approach joint credit card debt in divorce:
- Add up all your credit card debt, making note of what is joint and what each individual personally owes, e.g., debt they brought into the marriage
- Pay off some or all of your joint credit card debt before divorce using funds that you have in joint savings or checking accounts
- Cancel all joint credit cards, as this stops both of you from continuing to use them and running up debt in both parties’ names
- Keep records of whom has purchased what on the credit card after you decided to divorce
- Use balance transfer credit cards to divide the debt between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse
It’s natural to focus on assets in your divorce, as you want to know how much you’re getting and how you can use them to your advantage in the future. However, your debts from joint credit card balances are every bit as important and impactful. These don’t disappear just because you’re going through the divorce process.
Understanding how to approach joint credit card debt in divorce will help you implement a strategy that improves your financial situation. That, in turn, will provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you’ll be on surer financial footing in the future.