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

Many married couples have at least one joint credit card. While this financial tool can benefit you in many ways, it can also result in complications should you decide to divorce.

There is no right or wrong way to manage joint credit card debt in a divorce, but there are several options to consider.

  • Pay off the debt before you divorce: If you and your spouse are on speaking terms, talk to them about using money on hand to pay off all your joint credit card debt. Yes, it's a hit to what you've saved, but it's also one less thing you have to worry about in your divorce.
  • Split the debt: In many cases, it's best to split the debt down the middle. The easiest way of doing so is a balance transfer credit card. This leaves both individuals with the same amount of debt, without the other's name on the account.
  • Make sure it's yours: Before you do anything, make sure the debt is actually tied to you. For example, if your spouse brought a large credit card balance into your marriage, and your name isn't on the account, you may not be responsible for the debt.

When it comes to matters of debt division, you can expect some resistance during the divorce process.

Joint credit card debt is common, so make sure you have an idea of how to best manage it before, during and after your divorce.

By taking the right approach, you reduce the risk of joint credit card debt bogging down the divorce process and your future budget.

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