Dealing with shared debt after a divorce is complicated. It’s not always clear who owes what…and sometimes, one party shrinks from their responsibilities entirely and stops making payments.
It would be a whole lot easier if you could just close all of your joint accounts and divide your credit card debt accordingly. But unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. Because even if you do manage to close your joint accounts, you and your ex-spouse will still be responsible for paying down the balance…together.
So What to Do?
If your ex-spouse has stopped making payments on your joint credit cards and you suddenly find yourself stuck with the entire payments each month, then you should first get in touch with your lawyer to explain the situation and see if there’s anything they can do to help.
The problem here is that creditors don’t care who is making the payments. The only thing they care about is that the payments are being made in full and on time each month.
So if you’ve contacted your lawyer and your spouse still doesn’t start forking up their share of the bill, then unfortunately, you’ll have to make the payments yourself (for now anyway). Otherwise, your credit score could be affected—yes, even if you’re paying your share of the bill.
It depends. If you have a credit score of 780 and haven’t had any late payments up until now, then one late payment could reduce your credit score by 110 points. If you have a lower credit score already and have had a few late payments, then your score could drop by 60 to 70 points.
If you can’t get your spouse to pay their share of the credit card bills, then you’ll need to pay it for them for now (and hopefully get them to pay you back later).
If you don’t have the means to do that, then you might want to consider signing up for a Debt Management Program (DMP). On average, our Debt Management Program at DebtHelper.com helps our clients to reduce their interest rates down to 1.9%, reduce their monthly payments by more than $300, and pay off their debt much faster.
Want to find out more about how our Debt Management Program works? Fill out the form on the right for a free, 100% confidential Debt & Divorce Counseling Session and one of our Certified Credit Counselors will come up with a personalized and affordable plan to get you on the path to being debt-free.