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Joint credit card debt and divorce: What will you do?

Married couples make one financial decision after the next. For example, during your marriage you may have decided that it was best to use joint credit cards for some purchases.

If you decide to divorce, it's critical to review your joint credit card debt with an eye toward taking the appropriate action. Here are some of the best ways to deal with joint credit card debt in divorce:

  • Talk about leaving your marriage with no joint credit card debt: If your spouse is open to the discussion, look into ways to eliminate joint credit card debt before you divorce. For example, if you have enough money in your joint savings account to cover this debt, you may want to use the funds to eliminate it.
  • Cancel all joint credit cards: Let your spouse know you're doing this and then take action. Leaving open joint credit card accounts invites your spouse to continue using them.
  • Use a balance transfer credit card: If you can't pay off your joint debt, use a balance transfer credit card to divide it down the middle. This allows both individuals to take on their share of the debt. You can then manage it however you best see fit.

The more you learn about your debts, the easier it is to prepare for the divorce process and the impact it will have on your finances.

Many divorcing couples have joint credit card debt, but not all of them take the appropriate steps upfront to protect against complications during divorce. Knowing your options will help put you on the right track.

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