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Options for handling credit card debt in divorce

Many couples have amassed credit card debt, and this has to be handled carefully if they decide to divorce. One thing to remember is that these debts may affect your credit scores if they are not paid. If your score is lowered, you might have difficulties obtaining new lines of credit, including problems qualifying for a mortgage.

With credit card debt, you can't assume that the person who made the purchase is the one who is solely responsible for the charge. Instead, your property division order will outline who will pay which debts.

Some divorcing couples decide that they don't want to divide their debts. Instead, they sell assets or use joint accounts to pay off the debts. This enables both parties to have a fresh start after the divorce is finalized since they don't have any debts from the marriage hanging over their heads.

If you do split up the debts, this is usually done after the assets are divided. Remember that the creditors don't have to abide by the terms of the property division settlement since the settlement is an agreement between you and your ex of which the creditor wasn't an active participant. This means that they can still come after you to collect the debt, even if it was your ex's responsibility in the order.

Trying to protect your interests during the divorce can be challenging. Working closely with your divorce team can help you to learn your options and how they might impact you. From there, you can make an informed decision about the matters at hand.

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