When a couple in California decides that their marriage is not able to be saved, they must prepare for the process of transitioning to their new lives as two single people. One of the things each spouse should want to avoid is being financially tied to each other in ways that are avoidable. In some cases, this may be impossible especially if minor children are involved. But, there are some areas in which the financial connections can be minimized or eliminated and credit card debt is one of those.
As explained by Fox Business, a creditor will consider both parties on a joint account liable for the debt even after a divorce decree that assigns responsibility to one party has been signed. This means that a divorce decree, while a legal judgment, does not provide much protection to spouses.
CreditCards.com adds that if the spouse responsible for a given debt per the divorce agreement attempts to file bankruptcy or otherwise get out of paying the debt, the other spouse may be able to pursue recourse. This, however, can cost time, money and a lot of energy.
One option for couples is to find a way to pay any joint debts prior to filing for their divorce. If this is not possible, they may also consider dividing debt and then having debt transferred to solo accounts to avoid the continued joint liability. Another wise step is to cancel or put a hold on any joint credit accounts once a separation or divorce has been initiated.