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Business ownership and credit card debt can complicate divorce

Divorce can be a complex proceeding in Kentucky. The more assets and liabilities involved, the more complex it can be, particularly if the couple shares a business ownership. One issue may revolve around the resolution of credit card debt. How complicated the process is may be determined by how the credit cards are set up.

Many credit card accounts are held by both partners, but how they are configured can affect how they will be treated in a divorce. A joint account typically grants equal access to the card to both account holders. Another option is designating one spouse as an authorized user on an account. With a joint account, both parties are held equally responsible for paying off the debt. In the authorized user scenario, both parties have access to the card, but only the person who opened the account is ultimately responsible for repaying the debt.

When the prospect of a divorce enters the picture, eliminating debt held in joint or authorized user accounts is the best solution to retiring the debt, thereby removing it from divorce settlement negotiations. In addition, closing those accounts and establishing separate credit cards in each name can also simplify the process. One benefit to having separate accounts, even during the marriage, is that prompt payments and responsible use of the debt will be reflected in each party's credit score. This also holds true for a joint account, though many accounts held by two people are set up as authorized user accounts, and only the primary card holder's credit score is impacted.

Divorce can be a complicated emotional and financial undertaking. A person in Kentucky who is contemplating divorce may wish to consult with a family law professional. An attorney can review the client's financial situation and offer recommendations for addressing debt in a joint business ownership situation.

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Green Chesnut & Hughes PLLC
201 E. Main St.
Suite 800
Lexington, KY 40507

Phone: 859-475-1628
Phone: 859-475-1471
Fax: 859-455-3332
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