Before you have your family lawyer file the divorce papers, you should take the time to discuss all of your concerns and your goals for the outcome of the case. If you live near Owings Mills, your family attorney will inform you that Maryland is an equitable distribution state . This means that the judge will order a fair or equitable division of property and liabilities such as credit card debt. Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean that your assets and debts will be split 50/50, however. Debts such as credit card debt can be particularly tricky to resolve during or after a divorce.
How Should I Deal With Joint Accounts?
Talk to your family attorney about closing joint accounts before you file for divorce. If this isn’t possible because a balance remains on the credit card, you may be able to have the creditor place a freeze on the account to prevent your spouse from making purchases with it. Depending on your particular situation, you might also consider talking to your spouse about paying off the account together before filing for divorce. If credit card debt remains during the divorce, your divorce decree should specify who is responsible for paying it.
Why Is the Credit Card Company Pursuing Collections Against Me?
Many people experience problems with creditors long after the divorce is finalized. If your ex-spouse was responsible for paying off a credit card, but your name is attached to the account, the creditor may pursue collection actions against you if your ex-spouse fails to make payments. This is because credit card companies are not required to honor the provisions in a divorce decree. Unfortunately, this also means that the failure of your ex-spouse to make payments could affect your credit score.
Am I Liable for Debt If My Ex-Spouse Filed for Bankruptcy?
Similarly, if your ex-spouse files for bankruptcy and has his or her credit card debt discharged, your name will remain on the joint account and the credit card company can demand payment from you. Bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily erase the debt, but rather eliminates your ex-spouse’s liability for it. However, bankruptcy will not eliminate your ex-spouse’s liability toward you. If the credit card company holds you liable for the debt, you can in turn file a civil lawsuit against your ex to demand damages.