I don’t use Credit Cards – Will I have to pay any of the Balance?

When it comes to divorce, matters that deal with finances and children are always tough to negotiate.  A few lucky couples can forget their emotions and work together for a divorce settlement that suits both of their needs and wants.  If you cannot work out an agreement with your spouse, you will need help from a mediator or your lawyer to design your settlement.

Finances are often stated as the reason for divorce.  In many marriages, one person loves to spend money and always have the best of the best, while the other enjoys saving money and is happy with what they have.  This causes tension between the couple that can become overwhelming.  At times, the person who loves to spend may agree to slow down their spending, but just learn to hide their purchases instead.

If you are a person who doesn’t buy anything unless you have the cash to pay for it, congratulations!  In today’s world, that is nearly impossible.  It does leave you with a problem if your spouse doesn’t live the same way and you decide to divorce.  As unfair as it may seem, you are as responsible as your spouse for all of your marital debt and that includes credit cards.

The only hope you have of not having to pay any of the credit card debt is if your spouse agrees to pay all of it as part of an amicable divorce.  This is a long shot, but if your spouse realizes the debt is theirs, they may agree.  Realistically, their lawyer will tell him/her that you are responsible for the debt, too, so don’t count on being free and clear of the debt.

If your divorce goes to court, a judge will decide how much of the debt each of you must pay.  You need to remember that even if your spouse is ordered to pay, you are still responsible if they don’t.  When you decide to divorce, one of the first things you need to do is cancel and close all joint credit cards to be sure your spouse doesn’t continue to rack up charges that you will have to pay.

It doesn’t seem fair to be saddled with debt you didn’t incur, but all debts are considered “marital” when incurred during a marriage.  The court may not order you to pay half of the amount because they look at many factors (such as ability to pay and potential income) before separating debts.

If you are currently involved in a divorce and require legal guidance, before you spend thousands of dollars in legal fees, check out our free 7-Day “Divorce 101” course.  Sign up below and you’ll immediately start receiving tips and guidance you can use to minimize the pain and time required to get through the divorce process. 

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