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How do you divide your credit card debts when you divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2022 | Property Division

One of the most stressful challenges in a California divorce will be trying to separate your finances from your spouse’s. The two of you may own a house and a vehicle together, along with furnishings and many other personal possessions potentially worth thousands of dollars.

You likely also share financial accounts. You have likely deposited the paychecks into a shared every week and also used shared credit cards. Even if you had separate credit cards, you may have used those accounts to cover household expenses. What will happen with your shared credit cards when the two of you file for divorce?

Much of your credit card debt will be community property

The same community property laws will apply to your financial obligations as to your assets. You will have to share the responsibility to pay off debts from during the marriage. It won’t just be the credit cards that you share with one another but all of the debts accrued during your marriage that the two of you will need to discuss and potentially divide.

You have the option of reaching your own settlement. You might agree to pay off certain cards individually or to withdraw equity from your home to pay off all marital debts so that neither of you has to worry about the other failing to make payments on an account for which you can both be held responsible.

In some cases, one spouse will take more debt and then will also receive more of the marital property. There are many possible ways for the two of you to negotiate those obligations. If you are unable to reach a solution on your own, then a family law judge will divide your marital credit card debts along with the rest of your marital property.

A careful approach to finances is necessary for your future

Some people just sign whatever paperwork their spouse gives them, but they may set themselves up for years of financial struggle following the divorce. Your best outcome will usually be the result of careful planning and advocating for yourself to make sure that the division of your property is fair given the circumstances of your marriage and your personal financial resources.

Thinking carefully about property division matters can help those concerned about their upcoming California divorce and their future after the end of their marriage.