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Who is liable for credit card debt in a divorce?

Connecticut couples who divorce often have shared assets, including credit cards. In a high asset divorce, credit card balances may be extremely large, so people should be sure to hash out who owes what during a divorce to prevent future issues. The law is not always specific about who is responsible for debt during a divorce, but there are some basic guidelines.

Generally speaking, if someone is married but they do not have a joint credit card account, even if they are an authorized user, they are not responsible for the debt. However, if someone is named on an account, the creditor can still go after them to attempt to collect the debt. Additionally, in some cases if an individual can prove their spouse benefited from the credit card use, both parties may end up sharing the obligation.

To help prevent future debt collection issues, people going through a divorce should attempt to close and pay off joint accounts as quickly as possible. Additionally, it is a good idea to do a credit report to ensure that someone is aware of all accounts that their name is attached to. A credit report can help reduce the chances of someone finding out later on down the line that their spouse opened an account in their name without their permission.

Finances are often a contentious part of divorce, which is why someone ending their marriage may want to consult with an attorney. An attorney could help people understand their rights and defend them in court if necessary.

Source: Fox Business, "Is Wife Liable for Ex's Card Debt?", Sally Herigstad, May 07, 2013

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