When parties are separating or divorcing one of the key issues to be addressed is any credit card debt incurred during the marriage. As a general rule, marital debt is joint debt as long as the debt is incurred for “marital purposes” or “family expenses”.
Here are some examples where a balance racked up on a credit card or store charge card is considered marital debt:
One Name On Card – Sole Use By One Party
Wife has a credit or charge card in her sole name. She uses the card to purchase her clothing and for her other day-to-day expenses. Her husband never uses the card. He doesn’t see the statements, and he has no idea what the balance is on the card. Wife’s credit card balance is considered marital debt to be allocated between the parties in their divorce.
One Name On Card – Joint Use By the Couple
Husband and wife have a charge or credit card in their joint names. They use the card to purchase items for the household and each uses the card to purchase individual items for themselves. The debt incurred in this case is joint marital debt subject to allocation in the divorce.
Joint Names On Card – Sole Use By One Party
Husband and wife have a credit or charge card in their joint names. Husband uses the card for his dry cleaning, his motorcycle accessories, and his car’s gasoline. The debt would be considered joint marital debt. Continue reading →