Credit Card Debt And Divorce in Arizona
When you hear about financial issues that Americans are facing on a daily basis, you are sure to come across many discussions about credit card debt. Almost all adults have at least one credit card. The average American household carries a credit card balance of around $5,700.
Today, we want to talk about credit card debt and divorce. This is a tricky subject and is just part of the overall divorce settlement, but it is important. When it comes to any divorce debt or other divorce concerns, please seek help from a qualified and experienced Arizona family law attorney who can guide you through the entire process.
Credit card debts and divorce…are you kidding?
Unfortunately, we are not kidding. We know that most people are not thinking about how credit card debt will affect them in a divorce, but it is vital that you understand that it does. Credit card debt is not going to disappear (unless you file for bankruptcy).
Residents in Arizona are particularly affected by credit card debt during a divorce because this is a community property state. This means that all of your assets AND debts are going to be split equally if they were acquired after the date of the marriage.
If the credit card was acquired before the marriage and never had the other spouses name added to it during the marriage, the debt is going to be the responsibility of the person who obtained the card. In all other situations, credit card debt is going to be just like any other marriage debt – both spouses are equally liable.
What if your name is not on the card?
That does not matter if the card was acquired after the date of the marriage. All debts and assets are considered communal property.
However, this can get even trickier. If your name is on the card and the judge orders that both you and your former spouse are responsible for paying an equal portion of the debt, you are still the one the credit card company is going to come for if the debt is not paid.
Example: You have one credit card in your name and $5,000 in debt in it. The judge orders that both you and your spouse pay $2,500. You pay your amount, but your spouse does not, leaving $2,500 in debt for the card. Even though you paid your part, the credit card company can still come after you for the remaining $2,500. After all, your name is on the card. The credit card company does not care about your divorce decree.
You can pursue your ex in court to recoup your costs, but this may be more hassle than it’s worth. What you need to be concerned about is how this will affect your credit score. If your credit card bills are not paid on time, they will report you to the credit bureaus.
Credit card debts are one of many assets and debts that will be split in a divorce in Arizona. If possible, work amicably with your spouse and/or their attorney to resolve this in a way that does not affect your credit score.
Click here for an article on dividing credit card debt in divorce.
What you need to do now
We know that you have so much to worry about when you are going through a divorce. However, you need to make sure that everything is done correctly and that you are treated fairly. A knowledgeable and experienced Arizona family law attorney will ensure you are not taken advantage of during a divorce settlement, including when it comes to the distribution of both assets and debts. We discussed some of this today, but please seek legal assistance to get a complete understanding of your particular case.
Click here to find out if it is possible to refuse court ordered visitation.