Joint Credit Card Accounts And Divorce

Advertising Disclosure

Credit-Land.com is an independent, advertising-supported web site. Credit-Land.com receives compensation from many credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. Credit-Land.com has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Credit Card Applications » Research » Guides » Cardholder Benefits » Joint Credit Card Accounts And Divorce

Joint Credit Card Accounts And Divorce

By
Add to Favorites:
Sometimes married couples opt to have joint credit card accounts. While this works out just fine in countless instances, there are an equal number of situations where things do not quite go as planned. Should things turn sour and the files for divorce, what becomes of the shared debt? If you were to find yourself in an especially nasty situation where your spouse,for whatever reason, maxed out a joint credit card account you share, and unbeknownst to you, there are a few things you must know: The community property states If you happen to reside in one of the nine “community property states” in the United States, such as Texas, Nevada, Arizona, Louisiana, Idaho, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Washington or California,any credit card debt your spouse amassed throughout the duration of your union,would very likely end up under joint responsibility, regardless whether the debt was charged on a joint credit card account, or not. This holds true, until you legally separate, after which the debt officiallybecomesresponsibility of anex-spouse identified by court documents as the originator of purchase. Be wary, however, that a court decree awarding you an escape ticket from debt, does not automatically remove your responsibility in the eyes of the bank. You must follow through with notifying the bank of court’s decision. But if you do not live in one of those states, the afore-mentioned scenario – wherein your spouse transfers debt onto your joint credit card account – has much graver consequences for you, and you need to take some steps to protect yourself from further financial ambush. Shut It Down While you cannot simply remove your name from a joint account, or excuse yourself from responsibility to pay a debt, regardless of how the debt wound up on your card, you can, as a joint accountholder, close down the account entirely, to prevent further charges. While this does not fix the problem of existing debt balance, it will prevent your spouse from being able to rack up any more new charges on the card. Focus On Your Own Finances You can never control the actions of another person but you can control what you do and how you react. Now is the time to sit down and put your own financial house in order. Plan a budget, and in that budget include monthly payments of your portion of the joint credit card debt. Make regular, on-time payments each month, and be sure to keep all of your records. That way, if you ever have to, you can prove in court that you have been upholding your end of your joint financial responsibilities. Getting your finances under control will go a long way towards making a tumultuous and unsettling time a little bit easier to bear. Plan How to Repay Establish a repayment plan in order to pay down the amount that is owed. Ideally, you should meet with your spouse to calmly discuss finances and repayment of the joint credit card debt. If things are at a point where an amicable conversation of this sort is not feasible, you may have to consult with your attorney about how best to proceed. It may require the help of a mediator to reach a decision.

Add to Favorites:
Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.

Related Research:

How the Fed Rate Rise Impacts Credit Cards

How the Fed Rate Rise Impacts Credit Cards

By Credit-Land, Posted: May 25, 2017

Recently, the Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark rate by a quarter percentage point, as a result, you could see a rise of the interest rates on your credit cards by 0.25%. That was the first hike of the key rate in 2017 and the Fed ... Continue reading
Top 5 Credit Card Offers For Those With Excellent Credit

Top 5 Credit Card Offers For Those With Excellent Credit

By Credit-Land, Posted: May 25, 2017

Do you have excellent credit? If so, banks are actively looking to win you as a new credit card customer by offering some unprecedented deals. Although banks have been more careful about acquiring customers with questionable credit ... Continue reading
Interest Free Credit Cards: Pay No Interest Until 2019

Interest Free Credit Cards: Pay No Interest Until 2019

By Credit-Land, Posted: May 23, 2017

Carrying a balance on a credit card is wasting your money on interest fees. It is easy to avoid interest payments on purchase transactions by paying off the entire card balance by the due date each month. But what to do if you are already ... Continue reading