Splitting credit card debt during a divorce

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2020 | Family Law

Credit cards are used in a vast majority of American homes, including those in Georgia. While you may have signed up for this debt as a married couple, divorce could leave you saddled with more debt than you initially planned. This makes entangled credit card debt a point of contention for many divorcees.

Understanding your liability

A credit card with two users is generally structured in two different ways; a joint account and authorized users. A joint account signifies that both cardholders are liable for any accumulated debt. Authorized users, on the other hand, are not liable for acquired charges. Instead, the account holder is the primary responsible party.

Common law vs. community property law

There are generally two different methodologies states follow, common law and community property law. The state of Georgia follows common law. Under common law, an individual is considered responsible for any self-acquired debt and any debt acquired jointly with the former spouse. This distinction plays a significant role in determining debt responsibility.

Convincing creditors

Although a judge may assign debt responsibility to one party over another, convincing a creditor to adhere to a divorce decree could prove to be challenging. For some circumstances, there is language to protect one party from another’s failure of payment. Unfortunately, some scenarios require extreme measures such as lawsuits for non-payment. Hurdles such as these may be tackled by a family law attorney.

Patience and attention to detail

Credit card debt can prove to be stressful under usual circumstances, let alone during a divorce. However, with the proper legal guidance, you might be able to navigate entangled credit card debt without nightmarish financial impact.