What happens to credit card debt in a Connecticut divorce?

Most people in Connecticut going through the divorce process understand that they’ll have to divide their property. They will have to decide what to do with the family home and who will get the furniture, electronics, jewelry and other assets accumulated during their marriage. However, what they may not initially realize is that they will also have to divide their debts.

One major source of debt for many Connecticut couples is credit card debt. Spouses will have to determine who will be responsible for their jointly-held credit card debt. However, just because a divorce decree states that one spouse will pay off the credit card debt may not mean that the other spouse is off the hook for any missed payments. This is because credit card issuers are not bound by divorce decrees. Both spouses are contractually obligated to pay back any debt that is in their name.

Of course, if a divorce decree states one spouse is responsible for paying a debt, this is legally binding on that spouse. However, a divorce decree cannot cancel the contract both spouses have with their credit card issuer. Therefore, it may be prudent for the spouse taking on the credit card debt to transfer the balance from the jointly-held credit card to their own individual credit card account and then cancel the jointly-held credit card. This way their ex is no longer responsible for the debt.

Credit card debt needs to be addressed in the property division process, just as the division of assets is. The general information in this post may be useful to those who have credit card debt and are seeking a divorce. However, this post does not provide legal advice and cannot serve as the basis for any legal filing. Those who have questions about credit card debt and divorce may want to seek the professional family law assistance they need to better understand how the law will apply to the specific facts of their case.