Maybe you’re thinking about divorce, but you’re scared because you have a lot of debt and you’re not sure what will happen to it in divorce.

Take solace: you are not alone.

This is a really big concern for many people thinking about divorce.

Now, debt comes in different forms.

Most people have house debt, but that doesn’t worry them because they’ve figured out how to always make their mortgage payments.

Credit card debt, on the other hand, is not so easy to figure out.

If people can’t handle credit card debt when times are good, how can they handle it during divorce?

There are no easy answers here.

Credit card debt is almost always considered marital debt, which means it will be split in the divorce.

The only real exceptions to this rule are:

  1. One spouse makes so much more than the other spouse that it would be completely unfair to make the poorer spouse pay the debt.
  2. The credit card debt was incurred for something completely not family related (e.g., gambling, business expenses, affairs).

If your situation meets one of those exceptions, you should certainly make your spouse pay the credit card debt.

That isn’t the situation for most people, though. See, most couples simply overspend on random stuff and make sort of the same amount at their respective jobs.

This means credit card debt will be split 50/50 in most divorces.

Here’s an interesting twist to this 50/50 rule: credit card debt can be used to increase a person’s need for alimony.

What I mean is this: when we in Utah calculate whether someone needs alimony, we add up all debt payments, and credit card payments are debt, so we include those payments.

If you receive alimony, this means that while credit card debt will count toward the debt you take in your divorce, they may be offset by an increase in alimony.

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