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How may I protect personal credit card accounts during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2022 | Divorce & Legal Separation |

Colorado residents may take proactive steps to protect their individual and joint credit card accounts during a divorce. As noted by Experian, you could contact the creditors that issued your individual credit cards. You may ask the card issuers to remove your soon-to-be ex-spouse as an authorized user. Without your permission, your spouse may no longer use a card connected to your credit report.

After a divorce, an account owner may have responsibility for paying off a card’s entire debt. You may, however, ask a judge to assign some of the shared balance to your ex to help pay it off as part of your divorce. Lenders, however, only collect payments from the account’s owner. If your ex-spouse does not make payments, creditors may only sue you.

Dividing joint credit card accounts

Married couples often open joint credit card accounts with both spouses’ names on them. Creditors could collect payments from both account owners even after a divorce. To avoid collection issues, a judge may divide joint debts fairly under Colorado’s equitable distribution laws.

You and your spouse may discuss a fair division of your joint credit card balances. One individual, for example, may take control of a Mastercard and the other may take a Visa. If both cards hold the same amount of debt and each individual has the means to pay the bills, the court may view it as fair.

Negotiating debts with a divorce settlement

Personal and car loans that you cosigned with your spouse may also divide fairly in divorce. Before splitting joint or shared debts, you may use their balances to discuss a fair division or “trade” for your other marital assets.

Spouses may negotiate payments of joint credit card accounts and outstanding balances as part of their divorce. Closing joint accounts, however, may require zero balances and permission from both account owners.