Finances are often a major concern for divorcing couples. Joint credit cards can present significant challenges during the process of dividing assets and liabilities. It can be very difficult to determine the source of the charges on these accounts, which could lead to significant disagreements and conflict. Here are some of the most practical options for dealing with credit card debt during your divorce.
Cancel Your Cards
If at all practical, close as many joint credit card accounts as you can before beginning the process of divorcing your partner. It may be possible to transfer the balance of your credit card to a new card in your name only. This will prevent your spouse from running up additional charges and will allow you to move forward while establishing solid credit in your own name. If you and your former partner are still on good terms, you might be able to make an equitable division of the credit card debts and transfer balances to new credit cards in your individual names. This is usually the easiest way to deal with credit card debt held in joint accounts for divorcing couples.
If you and your former spouse are on unfriendly terms, filing quickly and getting your financial assets and debts on the record will protect you against unexpected changes to your credit card balances. Once your financial information is on record, any added charges made by your former spouse will be evident and factored into the division of assets and debts. This will help protect you and your financial situation during the first stages of the dissolution of your marriage and will allow you to move forward without the burden of crippling debt that you did not incur.
Maintain Careful Records
From the first moment you contemplate separation from your spouse, it is essential to keep complete and comprehensive records of your spending, your expenses and your income. This will provide several important benefits for your finances:
- Understanding your spending habits before divorcing will allow you to make changes that will ensure greater fiscal responsibility and increased financial resources during and after your divorce.
- Maintaining financial records will provide you with necessary information to construct a budget based on your own expenses and expenditures that you can use after the dissolution of your marriage is complete.
- Detailed financial records are also useful during the disclosure of assets and debts that typically takes place early in your legal proceedings to dissolve your marriage or partnership. This will help take some of the stress out of this process and will allow you to deal with your finances more effectively.
If you and your former partner have large amounts of credit card debt, it might be worthwhile to see a credit counseling agency to find practical ways to reduce this debt before beginning the divorce process. This can allow both of you to begin your lives in a better financial position and will provide benefits that will last for years to come.
Finding the best ways to deal with joint credit cards and credit card debt can make divorcing your partner a much less stressful process. Using a few practical strategies will provide you with the best outcomes for your financial situation and your future.