On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Credit card debt is one of the most common forms of debt in Florida and throughout the country. People are approved for their first credit card and wind up in debt in no time. They are given access to money they don’t actually have and then cannot pay it back. Credit card debt is incredibly difficult to climb out of and it gets even worse when a married couple gets a divorce. Our Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney would like to discuss how credit card debt is handled in a divorce in today’s post.
Credit Card Debt Won’t Go Away
Credit card debt will not simply go away when you get a divorce in Florida. Both of you will still be responsible for any jointly held debt from the marriage. If there are no protections in place prior to the divorce that discuss this topic, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you could wind up facing massive penalties for unpaid debt. If your former spouse fails to make payments on the debt or files for bankruptcy, you could wind up being sent to a debt collector for the full debt amount, interest, and penalties.
Joint Cards and Cardholders
All of the credit card debt accrued on joint credit card accounts during a marriage will be the responsibility of both spouses even in a divorce. But, if one spouse is simply an added cardholder of the credit card accounts, he or she will not be responsible for the debt. Being an additional cardholder means that you were simply added to the account and allowed to use it. You weren’t on the initial application for the credit.
Debt Accrued in Separation
If you decide to separate from your spouse with the goal of getting a divorce, all debt accrued from this point will be the responsibility of the spouse who makes the purchases. The date of separation is the date you begin living separate from one another. Keep strong records of all purchases you make on any of the credit cards you have in order to successfully show which debt you are responsible for and which debt your spouse is responsible for in the separation.
File Documents with the Court
The minute you know your marriage is going to end in divorce you should file documents with the court. These documents will explain how much debt is currently on every credit card from the marriage and the amount. This helps show what the current debt situation is and can help prevent your spouse from piling up more debt in both of your names before the divorce can be finalized in Florida.
Cancel Joint Cards
Try to pay the debt on all of the joint cards before the divorce is finalized. If you can do this, you can then cancel those joint cards and open new ones in your name only. If you are unable to pay down the debt at this time you need to come to an agreement with your spouse as to how the debt will be divided and then transferred to individual credit card accounts for each of you.
Seek Legal Assistance
As with all legal problems you need to seek assistance, especially when it comes to debt and divorce. Contact The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A. today to schedule a consultation. Call the office at 954-297-6546.