Once you decide to divorce, you're forced to make a variety of key decisions regarding your finances. For example, create a list of your assets and debts to ensure that nothing goes unnoticed during the divorce process.
Joint credit card debt can complicate your divorce, especially if you don't pay attention to it early enough in the process.
Your primary concern is financial misconduct by your soon-to-be ex-spouse. After you decide to divorce, they could continue to use joint credit cards for their own financial gain. This has the potential to put you on the hook for half the debt.
These tips will help you best deal with joint credit card debt during the divorce process:
- Pay off joint credit card debt together: If you have the financial means to do so, eliminate your joint credit card debt before the divorce process begins. This will give you one less thing to worry about in the future.
- Close all joint credit card accounts: This eliminates the opportunity for the other individual to use the accounts in an unreasonable manner.
- Use a balance transfer credit card: If you're unable to pay off joint credit card debt together, the next best option is using balance transfers to divide it evenly. This allows both of you to take on half the debt. It also puts you in position to manage the debt by yourself, without any concerns of what the other person is doing.
If you're still married, you also have the ability to file for bankruptcy. For example, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing has the power to wipe out your credit card debt. This allows you to avoid a situation in which you're both stuck with debt that will affect your finances after divorce.
As you prepare for divorce, don't focus all your attention on property division. The way you handle joint debt is every bit as important.
If you suspect your spouse of financial misconduct, collect as much evidence as possible. You can then use this to your advantage during the divorce process.
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