Divorce and Credit Cards
Dividing the credit card debt during divorce does not include a simple procedure. It depends on the laws of the state. This can lead to even increased bitterness between the two of you. So, it is always better to either pay off the debts of your own before filing for divorce, or divide the responsibility of paying off debts between the two of you. You can opt for a credit card consolidation in order to pay down the debts before divorce, if there are too many.
Dividing credit card debt in divorce
If you fail to pay off your credit card debts before divorce, these are going to get divided during the time of your divorce. However, you should also know that, the creditors are in no way obligated to follow the rules of the divorce courts. So, even if you are in no way obligated to pay a debt, as per the divorce decree, the creditor can come after you. Most of the divorce attorneys and financial advisors ask to pay off the joint debts before filing for divorce. In addition, try and cancel any joint credit cards before filing for divorce.
If you enter your newly separated and single life with any kind of joint debt, mainly credit card debt, it can lead to painful and bitter and harassing experiences. For, if your spouse decides to forego any debt payments, or if he/she files bankruptcy, the creditors are going to come after you. You will be left with the obligation of paying down the debts. Divorce in itself is a painful thing, and on top of that, if you are required to handle the debt complexities, it may result in serious setbacks.
So, talk to your spouse regarding the credit card debt you have on joint basis. Decide the amounts you two can afford to pay. If possible divide the obligations in half, and still if you have problems in making the payments, try to pay off the bills through credit card consolidation.
If your spouse does not agree with your plans, and even after the divorce decree if your spouse do not make the payments, it would be better to take the help of a divorce attorney. The attorney may help you with requesting or petitioning the court, so as to enforce the divorce agreement. In that case, your spouse will be required to appear in the court and explain the reason as to which he/she have not been making the payments. Your spouse may also be fined or jail time, if he/she is found guilty of not paying the debts as per the divorce decree.
Information obtained in mankatofamilylaw.com may contain knowledgable content about Minnesota Family Law that may be considered beneficial to some; however, in no way should this website or its contents be considered legal advice. Mr. Kohlmeyer is a Minnesota licensed Attorney and cannot provide legal services or guidance to those outside of Minnesota. If you wish to retain Mr. Kohlmeyer as your Attorney in your Family Law matter, contact 507-205-9736.
Hi Jason, my comment is about personal credit card debt. My spouse and I have personal credit cards, neither one is a signer, nor are they joint. I am curious then, is personal credit card debt automatically equitably divided during a Minnesota divorce, or is the debt the personal responsibility of the card holder. Thank you!
Great question (and an easy one to answer!) The debt is usually (but not always) divided equally, but that is just for the divorce side of the case. Regarding the actual credit card debt and the credit card company…that’s a different matter. Visa has a contract with whomever signed the actual credit card application, so that means that if the divorce decree divides the debt equally, Visa still has a legal right to come after the signor.
I hope that answered your question!
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