While most people are focused on the division of marital assets during divorce proceedings, questions regarding marital debts may also come up. In fact, some of the most contentious disputes in divorce cases are over the responsibility for credit card debt.
Whether or not you are on the hook for some or all of a credit card balance following a divorce depends on a few factors. It is important to identify if that debt was created jointly by you and your spouse, or if it belonged to one person individually. Fortunately, our seasoned division of assets attorneys can answer all your questions about dividing credit card debt in Atlanta, GA.
Whether debt is considered marital is often a major issue during a divorce. The way this debt is handled moving forward largely depends on if it was held by the couple together or separately as individuals. Most of the time, debt accumulated during the course of a marriage is considered marital debt. However, there are some exceptions.
For example, if the parties took steps to make it clear that only one spouse was liable, it might be treated as a separate debt. This involves putting the debt in the name of only one spouse instead of both. Alternatively, if both parties are named on the account or act as co-signers, credit card companies can come after both of them.
There is no firm rule on how marital debt must be divided in a divorce case. Instead, the family courts in these situations must consider what is equitable and fair. The debts are taken together with the assets in order to reach a final distribution that is equitable. Although, equitable does not mean even. Based on both spouse’s income and assets, one party might receive more debt than the other in the divorce decree. A benefit of working with our Atlanta, GA divorce attorneys is that they can help ensure all credit card debt is divided fairly.
The only thing that matters to credit card companies is the name or names attached to their accounts. In most cases, if a card was opened jointly between spouses, the companies have the right to pursue that debt against both parties. This might conflict with an order in family court that assigns one spouse a specific marital debt. That order might result in consequences for a spouse if they fail to make payments, but it does not prohibit a creditor from collecting against both parties if their names are on the account.
One of the ways an attorney can help in an Atlanta divorce case is by ensuring credit card debts are divided appropriately. It means little for one spouse to assume responsibility for a debt if creditors have the power to collect against both of them. The right attorney can help with resolving these conflicts and avoiding future collection efforts.
Dividing credit card debt in Atlanta, GA is only one important part of the state’s divorce process. To ensure you are treated fairly every step of the way, it is critical to seek out an attorney that understands family law.