Beebe and O'Neil

How to tackle joint credit card debt in divorce

The divorce process has a way of forcing you to think about your finances. If you don't prepare accordingly, you may find yourself making poor decisions in the future.

When it comes to joint credit card debt, there's no right or wrong way to tackle the situation. You must consider all your options and then make a final decision based on what's best for you, your soon-to-be ex-spouse and your financial situation.

Pay off your joint credit card debt

It's ideal to pay off your joint credit card debt before the divorce process begins. Not only does this get one additional thing off your plate, but it also improves the likelihood of leaving your marriage without joint debt.

The best way to pay off joint credit card debt is with money you have in a joint bank account. If the both of you agree to this, it's an idea to strongly consider.

What about a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer credit card is the next best option, as it allows both individuals to take on their share of the debt.

For example, if you're carrying $15,000 in joint credit card debt, both of you will take on $7,500 in your own name. You are then solely responsible for paying the debt.

Should you cancel your joint credit cards?

It's critical to cancel all joint credit card accounts as soon as possible, as you don't want to give your ex the opportunity to use it for future purchases.

Until the account is canceled, keep a close eye on all purchases that are made. Also, don't get into the habit of using the card yourself.

What about bankruptcy?

If you're drowning in joint credit card debt and still married, consider the benefits of bankruptcy. This may allow you to discharge some or all of your credit card debt, thus lessening the impact on your finances during and after divorce.

There's a lot to think about during the divorce process, with joint credit card debt quickly moving to the front of the list.

Visit our website for more information on divorce, property division, bankruptcy and other family law and financial matters in Connecticut.

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