Income earned during a marriage belongs to both spouses, and credit card debts used for a shared household divide fairly during a divorce. Unless individuals classified their debts as separate property, Ohio’s code requires splitting them equitably along with the couple’s other marital property.
As noted by Credit.com, spouses with joint credit card accounts have equal responsibility in paying their balances. Some divorcing couples can afford to pay them off and go their separate ways. Others, however, may use their shared credit card debts as part of a negotiation strategy to take over a mortgage and keep the house.
A fair division may require new credit cards
Joint account owners have equal responsibility for their minimum monthly payments even when they no longer live together. Creditors may hold both card owners liable for an unpaid debt when filing a legal action.
Couples may agree to apply for new credit cards as single account owners and close their joint accounts. By transferring the balances from jointly owned credit cards to new separate accounts, each individual can assume sole liability for the debts he or she incurred while married.
A divorce may lower credit scores
As reported by CNBC, more than half of the recently divorced women surveyed noted that their credit scores dropped. In the case of recently divorced males, 42% found their credit scores lowered.
The credit reports and scores of two ex-spouses may reflect a late or missed payment on a prior joint account. Ordering a credit report and monitoring it for new accounts or missed payments may prevent long-term damage to an individual’s financial affairs.
The Buckeye State’s laws require dividing assets and liabilities during a divorce. If two spouses cannot agree on fairly splitting their credit card debts, the court may decide for them based on each spouse’s income.