Dividing Credit Card Debt in Divorce

Splitting Credit Card Debt in Texas

Debt including credit card debt is divided in divorce depending on what state you reside in.  Community property states such as Texas separate debt differently than equitable distribution states, also referred to as common law states.  There are a few things that can be done before debt is divided that may make the process a little easier.

When the decision is made to get a divorce, credit card accounts can be cancelled.  You shouldn’t use or continue to charge amounts onto any cards.  Review final statements or request the card company to forward you a final statement.  Review amounts owed on card accounts that are joint as well as any accounts you may have solely.  It may help to create a ledger that shows what amounts due.

In equitable distribution states it may be divided in half or divided in a way that seems fair for both parties.  If you and your spouse are on speaking terms then you’ll decide what final amount each spouse is responsible for paying and provide final details for settlement documents.

In community property states, the process may vary.  It is possible for each spouse to be responsible for debt, even if the credit card in question isn’t a joint account but both spouses had access and used the card during marriage.  You may begin by calculating amounts that incurred by you and your spouse on individual and joint accounts. If a spouse has more income or assets, they may be assigned more debt to pay off.  This may also be true if a spouse was a stay-at-home parent.

How property is divided in community property states may also affect the outcome of how debt will be paid.  Questions and concerns should be reviewed with a legal expert.