For many couples preparing for divorce, trying to separate their financial resources and obligations will be one of the biggest challenges. It is typical for couples to focus on their assets when thinking about divorce.
The average adult in Georgia considering the end of their marriage may worry about if they can keep their car or what happens to their home equity. Obviously, you want to protect your interest in marital assets during a divorce. However, it is equally important to carefully consider your marital debts or obligations.
Your credit card debts can be a serious challenge to address in an appropriate and safe manner as you prepare for divorce.
Equitable division also applies to debts
When you split up your marital estate, you should try to do so fairly. That is what a judge would do if you litigated your property division issues. A fair approach to credit card debt might mean assigning certain cards to each spouse or using the total balance of the couple’s credit cards to offset the amount of home equity one spouse retains.
Much is left to the discretion of the couple filing for divorce if they settle or the judge presiding over their court case if they litigate. Typically, any credit card debt acquired during marriage that doesn’t constitute dissipation will be subject to division in your divorce proceedings.
Can you count on your ex to pay the credit cards?
It is common practice for the courts to freeze credit cards and other shared accounts in the early stages of divorce. Divorcing individuals typically close shared accounts and open their own, independent credit cards. However, those existing accounts may remain until someone pays them in full.
It’s important to understand the risks involved in dividing credit card debt. Even if the courts order your spouse to pay certain cards, they might not do so. If they later file for bankruptcy, the company could come after you as a co-signer. You need to consider your overall debt level, your marital assets and the dynamics between you and your ex when trying to arrange for the division of credit card debt in your divorce.
Understanding what equitable distribution means for your credit card balances can help you better manage the property division process in your Georgia divorce.