Running up credit card debt during divorce proceedings

Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney, explains how the courts treat debt when one spouse runs up credit card bills during divorce proceedings
Divorce Rights And Facts | Credit Card Debt Before Proceedings
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Running up credit card debt during divorce proceedings

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In most states, after date of separation and certainly after date of filing, that debt would be separate property debt. But that debt is between the two of you. As between MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, they may well come to you and say, "Well, you are the deep pockets. You are the one who has the money. You are going to pay us back." It is problematic. That being said, if there are other assets to distribute and he runs up a big credit card bill that you don't want to pay because you don't want to pay high interest or the credit rating go down, he will have to make it up to you someplace else. If there is really no money at all, you're going to have to do what you can to protect your credit. There are standard protective orders that are put into place to prevent someone from doing that, but again, credit card companies don't know about it. It is kind of the honor system, as far as this goes.

Laura Wasser, Family Law Attorney, explains how the courts treat debt when one spouse runs up credit card bills during divorce proceedings

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Laura Wasser

Family Law Attorney

Laura has been a family law practitioner for nearly 20 years. Her practice focuses on the separation and reconfiguration of families. Being a child of divorce, and having personal and professional experience in this field, she believes that she can do better for the children of today and help with an oxymoron: a “good divorce”. Laura is the author of It Doesn't Have to be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.

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