When married, you will likely share everything, from a home and secrets to bank accounts and credit cards. However, when you’re lives are intertwined, it can make getting divorced all the more difficult. Though a divorce is an emotional and overwhelming time, you may forget to consider the financial implications. One thing that you must consider is what happens to joint credit cards during a divorce. Keep reading to learn more about this process and discover how a Los Angeles divorce attorney can help you with any questions or concerns you may have.
How Are Joint Credit Cards Handled During Divorce?
When a couple is divorcing, one significant consideration is how their assets will be distributed. In California, the courts have considered marital property between spouses should be split evenly, known as community property distribution. However, this marital property also includes debts that have accumulated during the course of a union.
As such, one spouse will not be responsible for all the debt, since California courts have considered this agreement unfair.
If you are the owner of a credit card and your spouse is only an authorized user, the process of handling joint accounts may be as simple as rescinding their status as an approved party. However, if the card was taken out in both of your names, you must follow your credit card company’s policy. Some may allow one spouse to be removed from the account, while others require you to close out the card and reapply for a new one.
Why Should I Consider Closing Joint Accounts?
If your credit cards are not handled during a divorce, it can cause you severe financial distress. This is because your spouse may rack up “revenge” credit card debt in your name, which you can be held responsible for by debtors.
Credit card debt during a divorce can be tricky, as one spouse may believe the other is more responsible for the debt than they are. It’s essential to consider enlisting the help of an attorney to help you draft an agreement with your spouse about how each will pay for the remaining debt and who is responsible for submitting the payments. Without this agreement, the courts cannot help if your spouse is not paying.
However, if there is a credit card that is strictly for purchases towards child care, such as clothing, daycare, and other necessities, it may be in your best interest to keep that card open. You will still need to create an agreement to determine how each spouse is responsible for paying that credit card.
Divorce can impact many areas of your life, from your emotional well-being to your financial future. As such, it is essential to enlist the help of an experienced divorce attorney from the Zitser Family Law Group to help you navigate any challenges you may have during this time. Contact our dedicated legal team today to learn how we can help you.