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Credit card debt must be divided during divorce

Ending a marriage involves several different smaller processes, including asset division and determining various support payments, such as alimony or child support. Although most people in Texas understand that they must divide up marital property during divorce proceedings, many are unaware that debt must also be divvied up. However, not all debt is handled the same, and credit card debt should be given careful consideration.

On average, households across the United States owe about $16,000 in credit card debt. Individuals almost always sign a contract with credit card companies, in which they agree to pay back whatever they charge. During a divorce, couples typically reach an agreement about who gets which assets and debts. However, family court proceedings do not override the contract made with the credit card company.

This can be troublesome for individuals who entered in credit card contracts on their own. A divorce agreement might outline a plan for both parties to pay off that card's debt, but the credit card company usually will not care about that agreement says if it does not receive payment. If an ex does not pay and his or her name is not listed on the account, the credit card company will seek to hold the cardholder solely responsible.

Since Texas is a community property state, married couples are both responsible for any debt that was taken on over the course of the marriage. This is generally true even if the debt was only accrued by one person. Couples should be sure to fully understand the implications of taking on certain assets and dividing up debts, as these decisions can affect their future financial stability after divorce.

Source:, "Just Got Divorced? Here's What Happens to Your Credit Card Debt", Selena Maranjian, Nov. 2, 2017

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