What happens to joint credit cards when you get divorced?
In today’s society, many couples open joint bank accounts or give their partner authorized user status on their credit cards to access marital funds. When divorcing, many couples wonder what will happen to their joint credit cards. Keep reading and contact a seasoned Nassau County Divorce Attorney to learn whether you should close your joint credit cards to protect your finances during this legal process.
Should I consider closing my joint credit cards?
New York is a comparative negligence state. This means marital property, assets that were accumulated during the marriage, is divided between both parties fairly, but not necessarily equally. Essentially, marital property may not be divided in an even 50/50 split. If your spouse has accumulated a significant amount of debt on a joint credit card, the court may assign you some portion of that debt. This can negatively affect your overall financial security as you will be responsible for paying off a portion of the debt. Further, debt collectors will harass you for payments regardless of whether you are assigned a portion of your former spouse’s debt because your name is on the joint account. Debt collectors do not care if you are divorced. They only care about collecting their money. With that being said, if a divorce is imminent, you should consider closing your joint credit cards before your divorce to protect your finances.
To prevent your finances from taking a hard hit during a divorce, you should close any joint credit cards you have to ensure your former spouse does not spitefully accumulate debt as revenge. If they are bitter enough, they may drain your joint accounts to financially burden you. Not only will this hurt your financial security, but it will harm your credit score. This will make it difficult to obtain a loan or mortgage as lenders will view you as high risk. To protect your finances in a divorce, you should consider closing any joint credit cards.
How can I cancel them?
In some cases, a spouse may be given authorized user status on a credit card. If this is the case, your former spouse’s authorized user status can be revoked by contacting the credit card company directly. If the credit card is truly a joint account, removing your former spouse will not be as easy as credit card companies usually require you to pay the balance in full to close the account completely. Additionally, they require consent from both parties named on the account. If you cannot pay the balance in full to close the account or your former spouse does not consent, you may be able to transfer the amount to a balance transfer card in your name only. This will protect your funds from accumulating debt that you may be held responsible for.
Divorces are a financially challenging process. For more information on how you can protect your overall financial security during the divorce process, contact a determined Nassau County divorce attorney. Our firm will work tirelessly to help you protect your finances.