Dividing Credit Card Debt in Marietta

Divorcing couples often focus a lot of attention on dividing their marital property, but they may not pay enough attention to dividing marital debt. Leaving your marriage with considerable debt could hinder your ability to get a fresh start.

If you and your spouse have substantial debts, speak candidly about it with a member of our legal team. They can advocate for a favorable resolution for you when dividing credit card debt in Marietta.

Marital Property Includes Secured and Unsecured Debt

Any debt a spouse had when they entered the marriage is considered personal debt, and their spouse is not responsible for it. However, all the debt either spouse accrued during the marriage is marital debt, notwithstanding who incurred the debt or its purpose.

Each spouse is legally responsible for the marital debt. Depending on the circumstances, marital debt can substantially reduce the value of the marital property.

Deciding how to divide secured debt, like a mortgage or car payment, is relatively easy. Usually, the person who keeps the item assumes the payments. Credit card debt is more difficult to divide during a Marietta divorce because many people use credit cards to pay for entertainment, vacations, and day-to-day expenses.

Protect Your Credit During a Divorce

When both spouses’ names are on a credit card account, both are responsible for paying the balance. Any late or missed payments will impact both spouses’ credit. It is critical to keep track of credit card bills and ensure they are paid on time.

Sometimes a spouse will maliciously acquire debt on joint accounts after the couple has decided to divorce, adding to the other spouse’s potential liabilities. If your spouse puts charges on a joint credit card after you have separated, discuss the matter with one of our Marietta family attorneys. The new charges will be a factor to consider during the debt division process.

It is important for divorcing couples to realize that a divorce decree has no impact on creditors. Even when a judge allocates certain debts to your spouse, the credit card company could still come after you if your former spouse does not pay. Speak with our legal team about steps you can take to protect your credit after your divorce.

Factors That Influence the Allocation of Debt

Georgia requires couples to divide their marital property and debt equitably. That does not mean they must split the property and debt equally. It means the division must be fair when taking all circumstances into account.

When a judge must divide a Marietta couple’s credit card debt, they will look at numerous factors when deciding what might be most fair. These factors could include:

  • Who made the expenditure and why;
  • Whether the charge was for a joint or separate purpose;
  • Whether either spouse wasted marital assets;
  • The earning capacity of each spouse;
  • The value of each spouse’s separate property.

In general, the courts try to allocate the debt so that neither spouse is unjustly burdened.

When possible, it is often simplest and most fair for the couple to liquidate joint assets or use their cash on hand to settle their credit card debt during the divorce. Each spouse can then obtain credit cards in their own name only after the divorce, and the former spouse will have no potential liability for the charges.

Consult a Marietta Attorney About Handling Credit Card Debt in a Divorce

Dividing debt can be an especially contentious part of divorce proceedings. You need a strong advocate to negotiate a favorable settlement.

Work with a member of our family law team when dividing credit card debt in Marietta. Reach out today to learn more.

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