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Divorcing with jointly held debts

When Colorado couples decide to split up, they might need to take some additional steps to protect themselves if they have jointly held credit card debt. Some divorcing spouses may even try to get revenge by running up debt on the credit cards.

In the property division portion of a divorce case, the court will order that the debts be equitably divided between the spouses. While a divorce order may direct one spouse to pay for a jointly held credit card, the creditors will not be subject to the court orders. This means that a creditor can go after either spouse to collect the debt even if only one was ordered to pay for it.

It's a good idea for spouses to detail a list of all of the jointly held credit cards and their balances early in the divorce process. One can file this list in court to try to prevent the future ex from incurring more debt. If possible, couples should try to pay off jointly held debt before the divorce is final. Couples can each open new credit cards in their own names and transfer their portions of debt to the new cards.

Someone who is considering getting a divorce might want to consult with a financial planner and family law attorney before filing. The financial planner can help the person to understand all of the debt that will need to be divided. On the other hand, legal counsel could look out for the best interests of the client during the property division process.

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