Dividing Credit Card Debt in Divorce
There is nothing worse than being saddled with someone else’s debt. In today’s economy, credit cards help people make ends meet, but if your spouse’s spending habits have put you in a situation where you have accumulated a lot of credit card debt, then it may not be your responsibility. If you are facing divorce, you quickly need to figure out how to divide credit card debt so that hundreds or even thousands of dollars is not left hanging over your head.
If the debts acquired during the marriage were principally geared towards sustaining the marriage or family, then the debt will be considered mutual or joint. However, if your spouse insisted on taking a vacation to Hawaii several times a year against your concerns, then most likely you will not be responsible for that. The problem presents itself when both names are on the credit card. This is why you need an experienced attorney to make sure that any resolution to your case is exact so that if you have to file for any contempt proceedings, the language is there.
Why Hire James E Crawford Jr. and Associates in Annapolis, Baltimore and Bel Air?
Debt in divorce cases is similar to assets – it usually should be divided equitably between the spouses. However, under the Maryland Marital Property Act, this is not always the case. “Contribution” is the keyword. Many factors can help determine as to whether or not you will be on the hook for the debt. Many times debt is rung up by a spouse who knows that they are going to get separated or divorced. During the initial consultation, it is important to make an assessment of the vulnerability of this debt situation and put a stop to it immediately. That may include credit cards, bank accounts, and other assets
Best case scenario: If you and your spouse used a joint credit card, with both of your names on the account, then both of you owe the credit card company directly. One possible outcome is a 50-50 split.
Worst-case scenario: You have credit card debt in your name only. Even if you used that credit for living expenses like groceries and the mortgage payment, there is a possibility that you could be entirely responsible.