When you're married, it's common to take on all types of debt with your spouse. This can include but is not limited to credit card debt, mortgage, car loans, personal loans and lines of credit.
Any type of joint debt must be dealt with accordingly during the divorce process. Credit card debt, in particular, can complicate your split.
If you have joint credit card debt and have decided to divorce, here are some of the better strategies to consider:
- Leave your marriage with no credit card debt: This approach entails you and your soon- to-be ex-spouse pay off your debt before the divorce process begins. It's a strategy to consider if you have enough money in the bank to comfortably do so.
- Divide up the debt: If you can't pay off the balance(s) together, you should opt to split up the debt on individual cards. This is easy enough to do with a balance transfer. The only issue you could run into is that one or both of you doesn't qualify for a balance transfer credit card.
- Cancel all joint credit cards: If you don't do this, you're inviting financial misconduct from the other individual. For example, they could rack up debt without your knowledge, which you may be responsible for paying in some form. By canceling joint credit cards, you never have to worry about this.
- Keep detailed records of your spending: If you've recently used the credit card, particularly after you decided to divorce, keep detailed records of all your charges.
- Learn more about bankruptcy: It's not the easiest decision to make, but bankruptcy is one of the better ways to reduce credit card debt, among other types, before going through a divorce. As long as you qualify, it's something you should at least talk about.
There are many financial challenges that can complicate your divorce, with credit card debt at the top of the list. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to address this type of debt, so you should consider all your options in Ohio.
Since your spouse may not want to cooperate, don't be surprised if you run into various challenges regarding debt and property division. Knowing your legal rights throughout the divorce process will help keep you on the right track.