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What You Should Do With Credit Card When Divorcing

When you decide to go through with a divorce, one of the first things you should do is cancel joint credit accounts and open up separate ones. This prevents you from running into a situation in which one spouse racks up debt for which you may end up bearing some responsibility.

During the divorce process, you will divide responsibility for all assets and debts. The process of debt division can be a bit more complicated than asset division, because a third party gets added—lenders. Lenders aren’t likely to let a spouse get off without responsibility for a debt incurred by both spouses, because that reduces their chances of repayment.

In such a situation, one ex-spouse could be vulnerable if the other makes bad financial decisions. For example:

  • If your ex declares bankruptcy, the lender could require you to pay off the full balance of the card and your credit history will take a significant hit, even though you weren’t the one to file for bankruptcy.
  • If you keep the joint card open after the divorce, your ex-spouse could run up the balance, and you will still bear partial responsibility.

For this reason, you should make it a point to pay off as much joint debt as possible and close joint credit cards, allowing you to open individual accounts, make your own financial decisions and establish your own credit history.

For more financial advice for divorcing couples (including how to deal with debt and credit), contact a trusted Minnesota divorce attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


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