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3 ways credit cards can complicate your Ohio divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2023 | Divorce |

The way that your spouse uses credit could be a source of conflict in your relationship. You may be very frugal, while they absolutely embrace the concept of buying it now and paying later, regardless of how much they end up paying in interest for that instant gratification.

Financial stressors often contribute to the decline of marital relationships and can then also impact a  divorce. Credit card debt, in particular, is a common reason for people to want to separate their finances from someone else’s.

How will credit cards potentially complicate your Ohio divorce?

1. Closing accounts can be a hardship

For many people considering divorce, concerns about what will happen to their credit might force them to pause despite their desire to live separately. Often, those divorcing in Ohio will have to immediately close or freeze their shared lines of credit.

If you don’t yet have any separate lines of credit, opening one or two might be a crucial step to ensure that you have some financial flexibility during the divorce process. Otherwise, you may not have any available revolving credit if unexpected costs arise.

2. Dividing your debt can be a challenge

Both of you may have partial responsibility for your shared credit cards. In fact, accounts in the name of only one spouse will also be part of the marital estate in most Ohio divorces.

The two of you may both have very strong feelings about what should happen to your credit card balances in the divorce, and you may end up in court if you can’t reach an agreement about how to share responsibility for your financial obligations.

3. Credit card rewards can also cause disputes

Many middle-class families buy into valuable credit card reward programs. You may have several free plane tickets accrued on one account or hundreds of dollars in unredeemed rewards. You need to have an accurate idea of what those rewards are worth, and you may have to negotiate how to share them with your spouse.

Many details, including if someone lied about their credit card use or used marital accounts to fund an extramarital affair, can play a role in what happens with certain credit card debts during the dissolution process. Identifying unique challenges related to credit card debt can help those preparing for an upcoming Ohio divorce.