Pennsylvania divorce decrees not only divide a couple’s assets but also their debts. For example, a Pennsylvania divorce decree may assign responsibility for joint credit card balances to one spouse. The divorce decree makes that debt the legal responsibility of the spouse to whom it was assigned.
What Happens When your Ex-Spouse Fails to Make Payments on Joint Credit Card Accounts
However, it is important to remember that the credit card companies who issued the joint cards are not parties to the divorce decree. Accordingly, if the spouse who was assigned financial responsibility for paying the balances fails to pay the balances then the other spouse may be legally responsible for paying the balances. The late payments may also negatively affect the credit reports of both ex-spouses.
What You Can Do to Minimize the Financial Damage
If you have joint accounts at the time a divorce is filed, you have a few options. First, you and your spouse can close the accounts so that no future charges are made. Second, you can request that the joint account be converted into an individual account. The creditor is not legally obligated to make the change but may consider it based on your financial circumstances.
Finally, it is important to speak with a Pennsylvania divorce attorney. Your Pennsylvania divorce lawyer can help you structure a divorce decree in a way that best protects you financially. Furthermore, even if you end up paying the credit card balances because your ex-wife or ex-husband fails to do so, then your Pennsylvania family law attorney may be able to help you get reimbursed.
For more information about managing credit in a Pennsylvania divorce, please contact an experienced Pennsylvania divorce lawyer today for a confidential consultation.