Can you salvage your credit before the divorce?
When NJ Money Help received a question from a husband who wanted to protect his credit by taking steps to separate his credit before their divorce is filed – they turned to divorce lawyer, Kenneth White. Ken’s sage advice begins with an overview of how the law looks at a marriage (in terms of assets and liabilities).
QUESTION: How can I separate my credit from my wife’s before getting divorced?
ANSWER: Kenneth starts by saying that a closer look at the specific situation is really necessary as every family situation is different – but essentially a marriage is a partnership and ALL assets and ALL liabilities acquired/accumulated DURING the marriage are to be split 50/50.
Ken suggests that you “Think of it like a business enterprise within which you are each potentially entitled to 50 percent of the benefits as well as being 50 percent responsible for the liabilities.”
Ken says that while married “there is no efficient way to isolate yourself from your wife”. New assets can be be protected once the divorce is filed. But you really should speak directly with an experienced family law attorney.
In the BIZ BRAIN article “Divorce and credit card debt” on NJ.COM, Ken states that in certain circumstances … “If the debt was amassed as a result of a substance abuse problem, gambling habit, on a new significant other or the like, you could successfully argue that you should not have an obligation to contribute to the satisfaction of the same,” White said “However, if the credit card debt was amassed satisfying ordinary and customary expenses, such as purchasing clothing, food, entertainment, shelter expenses, etc… it will be subject to equitable distribution.”