What Happens to Joint Credit Cards When You Get Divorced?
Posted April 28th, 2023.
It would make sense to cancel all joint credit cards when you are getting divorced. After all, now seems like the time to separate finances and make a clean break, right? For the most part that is correct, but there are some considerations to make before simply canceling the cards and moving on. If you have any questions about what you should do, consulting a divorce attorney of Cherry Hill, NJ can help you figure out your next steps and how to best protect your finances.
Why Cancel the Joint Credit Cards?
If you do not cancel a joint credit card, you run the risk of your soon-to-be former spouse running up some bills on it. This is called “revenge debt,” and it can be particularly annoying to deal with because of how the state of New Jersey looks at debt in a divorce.
Debt incurred during a marriage is “marital debt,” and it’s treated much like any other asset. That means it could be split evenly. So if you do not want to be responsible for your spouse’s irresponsible spending, canceling a joint credit can help you protect yourself.
What if We Need the Joint Credit Card?
If you absolutely need the joint credit card, canceling it can leave you in a bad position. Sometimes a card like this is used exclusively for costs relating to children. If this is your situation, you can make an agreement to keep using it in that way, and only in that way.
Occasionally, one spouse will continue to need the joint card for whatever reason. Maybe they do not have another line of credit or a good credit history of their own. If this is the case, outright canceling the card and leaving your former spouse without a crucial financial tool can reflect poorly on you.
How Can I Be Sure My Spouse Cannot Use a Card?
Unfortunately, it can be hard to know for sure that a spouse does not still have access to a card these days. They could have it saved online at their favorite retailers, or the card could be stored in their phone in some kind of digital wallet.
Your spouse can literally cut up the card in front of you and that actually means nothing. So if you are going to go this route where you shut your spouse out of these cards, you need to cancel them and request a brand new card with different information.
Talk to a Divorce Lawyer Today
If you still have questions, you may want to talk to a divorce attorney who can tell you more about how to protect yourself and get a fresh start for your credit. Contact the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick and get your free consultation.