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Dividing debt in a Louisiana divorce

It is perfectly understandable that many Lake Charles couples who face a divorce will focus much of their attention on property division. After all, the division of what a husband and wife own together is in most situations, financially significant for both people.

However, while it’s reasonable for folks to think about dividing assets in divorce, they should also be aware that they will be dividing debt. In the eight community property states that include Louisiana, that includes any debts acquired during te marriage. That’s because the law here states that couples own, and owe, everything equally.

Many married couples have joint credit cards that allow them to track spending and budgets, and conveniently pool their resources. Of course, when a divorce becomes inevitable, those same credit card conveniences can become problematic.

Experts say that once the day arrives when divorce is imminent, it makes sense to close those joint credit card accounts as quickly as possible. After all, you’re no longer going to pool funds and it seems unlikely that you will want to share your ex’s debts acquired after a split.

Remember, a joint card means your spouse can use that piece of plastic without your knowledge or permission – but you are regardless both financially responsible for those purchases and that debt.

What happens to that joint credit card debt after your marriage has ended? Ideally, you and your family law attorney will negotiate a fair property division agreement with your spouse. Depending on the debt and income a couple has, it can sometimes be difficult to divide debt. That can be especially true in situations where only one spouse has an income.

A lender might not be eager to let that spouse take on a credit card debt that could reduce their chances of being paid.

You can discuss credit card debt, property division, community property and much more with a Lake Charles attorney knowledgeable and experienced in family law.

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