When you get a divorce, possessions and assets are evenly divided, right? Not so fast! If one or both parties possess credit card debt, the story is different. Divorcing from your creditors is way more complex than ending your marriage. Aggressive representation from a divorce lawyer like Michael M. Raheb can help you achieve justice regarding your legal responsibility for paying credit card debt.
Credit Card Debt in Divorce: Who is Responsible?
Marriages are usually about sharing things, including the financial aspects of life. You and your partner might share expenses, bank accounts, and credit cards. With the exception of perhaps expenses related to your children, the sharing part stops at divorce. This independence might seem like freedom, but remember that if you’re not careful, you might end up with more credit card debt that you planned on!
According to U.S. News, you are contractually responsible for any debt that is in your name, even if someone else acquired it or contributed to it. If your spouse was or is an authorized user on your credit card, you could get stuck with bills that aren’t yours! If you fail to pay the debt, creditors can sue you and even try to collect on your share of jointly owned assets!
So how do courts handle debt during and after your divorce? It definitely isn’t black and white! In common law states like Florida and most of the country, courts will likely hold you responsible for credit card debt in your name and jointly liable for credit card debt in both names, explains U.S. News.
But It’s My Spouse’s Debt – Do I Have To Pay?
Maybe you were counting on divorce to help alleviate some of the burden of your credit card debt by allowing you to split the debt with your ex. Or, maybe you are counting on divorce to free you from the burden of having to share credit card debt that was incurred by your ex and not you! This story can go both ways! Unfortunately, like most issues in divorce, the distribution of credit card debt isn’t straightforward.
If the courts rule it, you will be required to pay your spouse’s debt. Additionally, CreditCards.com warns that unless you take steps to protect yourself, leaving behind debt from jointly held cards is difficult. Because credit card companies aren’t bound by divorce decrees, they can go after you for jointly incurred debt if your former spouse doesn’t pay! It doesn’t matter if it was you or your spouse who spent the money, if your name is on the credit card, you might be in trouble even after your divorce.
How Can I Avoid Paying Debt That’s Not Mine?
The best way to make sure that your divorce rulings are fair and based on your best interests is to hire an experienced divorce attorney. If you’re going through a divorce in the Naples, FL area, The Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb can help you navigate the complex and often confusing aspects of debt in your divorce and every other legal aspect of this big life transition. Get started by calling 239-226-0888 or feel free to contact us online.
The Law Offices of
Michael M. Raheb, P.A.
2423 First Street,
Fort Myers FL 33901
Fax Number: 866-949-0888