On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Property Division on Thursday, August 22, 2019.
If you’re considering divorce, then you’ve got a lot on your plate. You need to consider how your child custody arrangements will be laid out, how marital assets will be divided and whether alimony will be paid. Navigating the tangled web of divorce can be overwhelming and much more complicated than initially thought. Since many Midwesterners going through marriage dissolution find themselves down in the weeds trying to figure out matters like whether visitation drop offs will occur at the mall or a parents house and the value of a long treasured family heirloom, it can become easy to lose focus of the big picture.
One major part of that picture that is often overlooked is how one’s credit is oftentimes inextricably linked with his or her marriage. This is because many married couples jointly hold multiple accounts. While these usually include bank accounts, they also include credit card and loan accounts. With jointly held accounts, each party is responsible for the entirety of the debt, which gives rise to opportunities for unfair debt handling when a marriage sours.
Say, for example, that a couple has a jointly held credit card account. During the early stages of their divorce, the parties agree that the husband will be responsible for handling that debt. Then, for whatever reason, the husband doesn’t live up to his obligation. Even though the debt was given to him through divorce negotiations, the fact that the account remains jointly held means that the wife’s credit will take a significant hit, and she may be subjected to debt collection practices.
So what does this mean for Midwesterners who are thinking about divorce? It means that they need to be careful in how they divide marital debt. If jointly held accounts are in play, then it may be worth closing them out and opening up individual accounts.
Those who would like to learn more about how to handle the negotiation of debt and property division may want to sit down with an attorney who can help guide them through the process. Divorce can be a complex process, and it is important to stay well informed of one’s rights and options.