As you close in on the divorce process, it’s critical to make a list of both your assets and debts. For many people, this means focusing a good amount of attention on their joint credit card debt.
There is no right or wrong way to divide credit card debt in a divorce, but there are some ideas to consider:
- Pay it off before your divorce: This is the easiest approach, as it allows you to eliminate all your joint credit card debt before the divorce process begins. This is one less thing you have to negotiate.
- Divide the debt: If you don’t have the financial means to pay off the debt, divide it by using a balance transfer credit card. Once you do this, each person has half the balance to do with as they please.
- Cancel all joint credit cards: If you make the mistake of leaving these active, your soon-to-be ex-spouse could continue to use the cards. While not always the case, this could leave you responsible for some of the debt.
- Keep records of your spending: Gather your most recent statements to mark your expenses, your spouse’s expenses and those you agreed to mutually.
It’s often a struggle to divide debt in a divorce, as both individuals will do whatever they can to minimize the liabilities they take on.
When you focus on this before the process begins, you’re in a better position to hedge off potential complications. Combine this with your legal rights, and you’ll feel good about the steps you’re taking as you prepare for divorce.