What Happens To Credit Card Debt In A Divorce?
In a divorce, you may be concerned about certain assets. Who gets the house? Will you be able to keep your car? What you may want to worry about, though, is your marital debt.
Your marital debt does not go away when you get divorced. You and your spouse will have to ensure it is taken care of. This will likely mean splitting it equitably. Florida and most other states follow the laws of equitable distribution, which means assets and debts are split fairly. This may mean a 50/50 split or it could mean something else based on each party’s contributions to the marriage. The titling of the assets may not make a difference, so if one spouse has a vehicle in their name, the other spouse may still be responsible for it.
Equitable distribution means looking at each asset and liability and deciding on the division — so who gets what? All assets and liabilities accumulated during the marriage are included in equitable distribution. The only exceptions are gifts, inheritance and any premarital assets that have been kept completely separate from the marriage. No commingling of funds is allowed; otherwise, the assets become marital property.
As mentioned above, titling does not make a difference. If you have a credit card in your name only, and you have $5,000 in debt, this debt can still be split between you and your spouse. This is especially true if the credit card was used to pay for marital expenses, such as utility bills, groceries, car maintenance, health care, and other necessities.
You and your ex-spouse can discuss how to divide the debt. If you can’t come to an agreement, then speak to a lawyer. Mediation may be able to help. If not, then you may have to go to court and get your matter decided by a judge.
In any case, keep in mind that if you are the sole account holder, you are ultimately responsible for making the credit card payments. This is because the original agreement is between you and the credit card company. A divorce decree does not change this. What this means is that the credit card company will come after you if the card is not paid. They can continue their collection efforts with you and you alone, since the original agreement was between you and the credit card company. If you don’t make monthly payments on time, your credit will be affected — not your spouse’s. So even if your spouse agrees to make payments, you should ensure that the payments do get made.
Seek Help for Your Divorce Case
Many people worry about the assets in a divorce, but debts are something you need to worry about as well. You and your spouse will need to find a way to split them equitably.
The Dade City & Zephyrhills divorce attorneys at Madonna Law Group can guide you through the divorce process. We’ll help you deal with assets, debts, and other aspects. Get started by scheduling a consultation. Fill out the online form or call (800) 557-0411.