How to Handle Credit Card Payment Responsibilities After a Divorce
In some cases, a divorce court may include stipulations stating that one spouse is responsible for paying debt on credit cards that were taken out in their former spouse’s name. Of course, the concern then becomes that the ex-spouse will take advantage of this arrangement and rack up massive bills in the hopes that you will not notice and will be responsible for these new payments, even if you are only legally responsible for paying off existing marital debt.
This can be a difficult issue to navigate, depending on how receptive and helpful the credit card company is. You might, for example, request to have all bills sent directly to you so you can see how much you owe and what is being charged (and when). However, credit card companies do have privacy rules you will need to navigate, and if the cards were taken out in your spouse’s name, it can be hard to get that information. You might also find it hard to close out accounts that aren’t in your name, especially if your former partner is being uncooperative.
What should you do?
Of course, it’s still important that you take the necessary steps to ensure you aren’t paying for anything more than the debts for which you are legally responsible through your divorce decree. The credit card companies don’t care where the money is coming from — they just want to be paid. So your best option is to go back through the court system.
Visit the judge who handed down your divorce decree. Ask the judge to order your former partner to deliver all copies of credit card statements to you immediately. This will provide you with accurate information about charges that were incurred during the course of the marriage and could also pave the way for you to be repaid if you paid anything more than what was necessary.
For more information regarding how to best handle credit card debt during a divorce, consult an experienced Long Island attorney with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.