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How are joint credit card debts divided in a divorce?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Divorce |

In a Connecticut divorce, courts divide marital debts the way they divide marital property—fairly and equitably. This means that the court will aim to divide debts fairly but not necessarily equally based on a variety of factors.

Joint credit card debts, as with other types of debts spouses incurred during the marriage, are generally considered part of the marital estate and are subject to division along with marital assets.

While the division of debts largely depends on the unique facts and circumstances of each case, courts may consider the following to guide their decision:

Ability to pay

The court may look at the income and earning potential of each spouse and determine their ability to pay the debt.

Who incurred the debt

If one spouse was primarily responsible for accruing the debt, this might influence the court’s division.

The use of the debt

If the spouses used the debt to benefit the marriage or family, the court is likely to split it between both parties. On the other hand, if it was for one spouse’s benefit, the court may attach the debt to that spouse.

Other relevant factors

The court may also consider other available factors, including each spouse’s financial contributions to the marriage, the duration of the marriage and any other considerations the court deems relevant.

It is important to understand that while the court’s decision may depend on these factors, there are other considerations that can significantly affect the final order. For instance, even if the court orders one spouse to pay a particular joint debt, creditors can still hold both parties on a joint account responsible for the debt.

Protecting financial rights in a divorce

Because the division of debt in a divorce can be complex, it is often advisable to consult with a legal representative who is experienced in Connecticut’s divorce laws to understand how these general principles might apply to an individual situation. This allows parties to make informed decisions based on personalized advice on their financial interests during the divorce.