In most cases, a joint credit card should be closed when a marriage ends. However, things can get a bit more complex when there are reward points involved, or when a card is used for the needs of a child. A partner’s contribution to the debt can also complicate matters. If you need some help navigating this step of this divorce process, you may want to consider consulting a York County, PA divorce attorney.
How Can I Cancel My Joint Accounts?
Generally, both people on a joint account will have to contact the credit card company and cancel it. From there, there may be a way for one person to put the card only in their name. It might also be necessary to completely shut the account down and start a new one in one partner’s name.
If you have a credit card and added your spouse as an authorized user, it should be easy to remove them. Then you will be the only one who can use the card.
How Do We Split Up Credit Card Debt?
An account still needs to be paid off even if you close it. If the debt is on a joint account’s card, it has to be split up. Usually, this debt would be split up evenly because it is “marital debt,” but there are some situations in which one spouse is clearly responsible for more of the debt and ends up having to pay off a larger share.
How Can I Ensure That I Am Not Taken Advantage Of?
When you are dealing with a joint credit card account you need to be vigilant. Make sure that:
Your former spouse has no access to the card: Do not just believe it when you are told that a joint card was canceled or that your name was taken off of it. Also remember that, in the age of digital wallets, someone could still have access to your card even if you think that they do not.
Debt agreements are in writing: If you have split up the debt, make sure that your agreement about it is in writing and enforceable. You do not want to deal with your portion of the debt only to realize that your former spouse has done nothing and that collection agencies are now after you.
You remember the reward points: The points accumulated on a joint credit card can be worth hundreds of dollars in flights, hotel stays, and other rewards. They should be split up fairly like any other marital asset.
Talk to an Experienced Divorce Attorney
If you have more questions or want to learn more about how to protect yourself during divorce proceedings, contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein. We are here to guide you through every step of this process.