Hi there. Welcome back to this look at what happens to your debt after you get divorced. As we mentioned in the previous article, there is no cut-and-dried explanation for how debt gets divided when a couple gets divorced. A lot has to do with who earned the money that was spent, how it was spent (meaning what did it purchase and for whom) and who benefited from it. Sometimes the division of debt is clear cut and obvious, other times it’s convoluted and requires a lot of arguing back and forth to determine the best division. And sometimes, even the best agreements don’t mean anything in the big picture…
Credit card debt can be very tricky to divide!
Many couples get joint credit cards in both of their names when they’re married. This might work really well for the duration of the marriage, but it can make the divorce process really tricky. Why? Because unless you can prove that the money was specifically spent by one spouse on items that benefitted only them and not the other spouse (like a vacation that was taken by only one spouse) chances are the money owed will be viewed as marital debt. Which means you’ll both get stuck with the bill. And then there’s the fact that credit card companies don’t care who spent the money, they just want someone – anyone – to pay it back!
Credit card companies don’t care about what the court said!
This is the hard part for many people. You work diligently to prove that the thousands of dollars owed to Mastercard or Visa was your spouse’s doing, and not your own. The court, after much deliberation, agrees that the debt needs to be paid by your spouse, and the debt is assigned to them in the divorce decree. But your ex spouse is broke, so they don’t make the payments. And as far as the credit card company is concerned, your name was on that card too, which means you’re at least partially liable for the debt.
“But the court said that debt wasn’t my responsibility!”
We hear you, but the credit card company doesn’t care. They don’t care that the family court in Michigan said you weren’t responsible for the money owed on that card. They just want their money. As far as they’re concerned, you’re just another possible source of funds. And since they’re not getting anything from your ex, they’re going to come after you. Which doesn’t bode well for you, because that can trash your credit rating, making it very hard to start your new life over. So what can you do?
Talk to your attorney about your options.
Your attorney certainly can’t call up the credit card company and tell them to leave you alone, but they can help you with other options, like taking your ex back to court to ensure that they pay what they owe. So if you or a loved one are considering divorce, but are nervous about the cost involved, come and talk to your skilled family law attorneys at The Kronzek Firm. We offer a free initial consultation to all of our potential clients, which will help us get a good idea of what your divorce will involve, and allow us to explain what you can expect. We’re available 24/7 to help you prepare for your divorce, and to walk you through the process, no matter what’s involved. Call 866 766 5245 to schedule your appointment today.