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In divorce, who is responsible for shared credit card debt?

When couples in Alabama and elsewhere are ending their marriages, they take the time to figure out the positive assets with which they will walk away. Everyone wants a fair property division settlement. Not too many people stop to consider what negative assets they will end up with as part of their divorce agreements -- such as shared credit card debt.

Most couples in the United States have shared debt. The average household carries a credit card balance of several thousand dollars. A marriage ending does not make that debt go away. Lenders do still expect to get paid and will hold all names on the account liable for the debt until it is repaid in full.

When it comes to divorce and shared credit card debt, how it is divided between spouses is not exactly straightforward. If the account is in one spouse's name, that individual may carry the full burden of paying off the debt, even if the other party was an authorized user. However, a judge has the right to divide the debt between both spouses. For joint accounts, the debt responsibility may be split between both parties. No matter how it works out, it is wise to get oneself removed from an ex's account or close any joint account so any further debt incurred by the other party will not become one's responsibility.

Money problems are believed to be a big contributor in divorce cases in Alabama and elsewhere. Ending the marriage may end the fights over credit card debt, but it does not wipe the debt away. It is a negative asset that must be addressed during the property division phase of dissolution negotiations or litigation. One's legal counsel will do their best to make sure the shared debt is divided fairly.

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