Currently Browsing: Family Law

Credit Card and Divorce: Who Pays?

Some married couples see that the only healthy way out in an unhealthy relationship is a divorce. However, some couples are hesitant in filing those legal papers due to one thing – credit card debt. Many couples fear that filing for a divorce would make them solely responsible for their joint credit cards, while some are anxious about getting the larger slice of the pie.

The website of Arenson Law Group, PC says that filing for a divorce when in debt can be too disquieting, especially if one couple has been financially dependent to the other during the entire marriage. But with the help of the right people, you would learn that filing for a divorce even when in credit card debt is still possible.

Common law property system

To have a glimpse of how credit card debt is divided between divorcing couples, we will differentiate between common law property system and community property system. If you are in a state where common law is applied, it means that all the properties you acquired or bought under your name belong solely to you, unless you indicate your spouse as a co-owner. This same principle applies to debt: all debts under your name would be your exclusive responsibility, including credit cards. However, if you have joint credit cards that you co-signed with your spouse, then debt collectors have the right to go after you.

Community property system

In contrast with the above, states that follow community property system have a different way in dividing marital assets and liabilities. In a community property system, assets acquired by both spouse during a marriage is considered a community, or marital, property. The same goes with debt: if credit card debts are acquired during marriage, both couples are more likely to take responsibility, whether the card is under only one spouse’s name, or both cosigned it. However, according to the website of the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield, if you can prove that a credit card purchase never benefited the marriage, the court may deem you not responsible with the debt.