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Divorce and credit card debt: Things to do, things to avoid

Once you decide to divorce, you’ll turn your immediate attention to the many assets that require division. From your family home to your vehicles, from your furniture to your electronics, several things will come into play.

Even though property division is important, don’t lose sight of any joint credit card debt. If you ignore this early on, it could come back to cause you harm in the future

Here are some of the tips you can follow when dealing with divorce and credit card debt:

  • List out your joint credit card debt: Just the same as your assets, you need a checklist to ensure that you understand how many joint credit cards you have and the amount of debt on each one.
  • Pay off joint credit cards together: For example, if you have enough money in the bank to pay off your debt, do so as early as possible. You can then cancel the credit card account and never worry about it again.
  • Split up the debt: You may not have enough money to pay off all your credit card debt. In this case, consider splitting it in half and moving it to a separate card in each partner’s name. This separates your debt, allowing you to tackle it however you best see fit.
  • Cancel any undiscussed joint credit cards: It’s not okay to trust that your spouse won’t run up debt before the divorce process really kicks in. Canceling these cards allows you to avoid this potential setback.
  • Keep records: What charges have you put on the credit card in the recent past? Which ones belong to your spouse? Have you made any recent payments? Record any and every transaction you make.

Divorce has a way of turning your finances upside down and inside out. In addition to property division, there’s a good chance you’ll have joint credit card debt that requires your attention.

Knowing what you’re up against up front is the most important thing. This allows you to formulate a plan for dealing with joint credit card debt in the appropriate manner. When you understand your debt and know your legal rights, you can feel confident in the direction you’re heading.



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