What Happens to Joint Credit Cards When You Get Divorced?

three credit cards

It makes sense that you would want to disentangle your finances from your former partner when you are getting a divorce. That is why one of the first things some people look into is their joint accounts, including joint credit cards. In many cases, it makes sense to cancel these cards and make a clean break, but there are some other considerations to make before doing so. If you have questions about your next steps, a Monmouth County divorce attorney might be able to help.

Should I Cancel Joint Credit Cards?

Yes, canceling a joint credit card or debit card should be one of the top priorities when you are getting a divorce most of the time. This is because debt is considered to be much like any actual asset in the eyes of the law. It gets split up evenly when a couple divorces.

What this means is that one spouse can potentially drive up the balance on a joint card with β€œrevenge debt.” In many cases, even though you had no hand in running up the debt, you are going to be on the hook for at least part of it because your name is on the card.

This can really impact your financial situation in the short term and the long run. Your credit score could even end up taking a hit, which will make it harder for you to secure other loans or apply for credit in the future.

What About Rewards Points?

Some credit cards offer rewards, like cash back or points towards travel. If your joint credit card was one of your primary spending methods and it offers rewards, you might have quite a few points built up.

These points should be split up just like any other asset. Do not try and use all of the points before your spouse notices. This can only backfire when other arrangements of your divorce are being made.

What If One Spouse is Reliant on a Joint Card?

In some cases, one spouse might be reliant on the joint credit card. They might not have other lines of credit to call their own, or they were being financially supported by their partner before the divorce.

In situations like these, it may be advisable to keep that joint card open. You do not want to leave your former spouse without the ability to pay basic bills or provide for your children, if you have any. A divorce attorney can tell you more about how to protect yourself in this kind of scenario.

Consult an Experienced Divorce Attorney

If you have questions about joint credit cards or your financial situation as it related to an upcoming divorce, contact the Law Offices of George J. Mardinly. We are ready to help you.