In the event of a divorce, cancel joint credit accounts

Ending a relationship may be easier than splitting finances. Owning joint credit cards with a soon-to-be ex can have devastating results if one party does not take responsibility for unpaid balances. In Georgia and other states, a divorce decree does not excuse one from making payments on credit card accounts.

To keep credit scores from taking a direct hit from a slow-paying ex, one should sign up for an account monitoring program that is designed to track payments. If the ex-spouse is not cooperative about making timely payments, the other party can ask the judge to allocate settlement funds to pay off joint cards. Another option would be for the spouse to open an account in his or her name to transfer outstanding balances. This way the ex-spouse takes responsibility for his or her portion of the marital debt and prevents any further impact on credit scores.

Regardless of what the divorce settlement states, lenders will look to whomever is listed on the accounts for payment. If one party does not pay, the other is still held accountable, and it may be in one's best interest to take over payments on the accounts to protect one's credit score. Unfortunately, receiving compensation from an ex-spouse may require another consultation with an attorney.

Divorce is one of the most stressful events in a person's life. Even though the relationship is over, having to assume responsibility for an ex's debt is unforgivable. In Georgia, one may benefit from speaking with a keen divorce lawyer about debt responsibility. An attorney can lay the groundwork for separating the marital debt evenly and fairly.

Source: fool.com, "4 Reasons to Cancel Your Credit Card -- and 1 Reason to Keep It", Sarah Szczypinski, Jan. 17, 2018

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