For many couples, there comes a breaking point when one person decides that they need to move on and possibly move out of their shared home. Separation is often an important early step in divorce.
Unfortunately, divorce takes quite some time even after you decide that your marriage is over. You will likely separate but will technically remain married until a judge issues orders dividing your property and splitting up custody of any children you share.
During that separation, you may eventually discover that your ex has continued to use marital bank accounts or shared credit cards, possibly in an inappropriate or financially abusive manner. What are your rights when your spouse racks up a bunch of credit card debt after the two of you separate?
You can protect yourself with financial records
The simplest way you can protect yourself against your ex abusing your joint credit cards during your divorce is to maintain your own financial records. When you have statements showing what balance you had on the account when you separated and when either of you made the corresponding charges, you can more easily demonstrate how some of those debts should not be part of property division.
In scenarios where you can show that your ex charged an unusually large amount right before or following your separation, a judge may agree to exclude those debts from the property division process. Although most of the debts from during your marriage are subject to division under equitable distribution rules, judges also frown on financial misconduct, like dissipation of marital assets by accruing credit card debt intentionally.
How can you protect yourself from their debts?
You need to be careful about how you handle shared debts and joint accounts in your divorce proceedings. Even if a judge orders your ex to pay certain accounts, you can still face collection activity if they don’t pay those accounts the way they should.
Trying to ensure that you close the accounts as soon as possible and that accounts where you have partial responsibility for the balance get paid in full will prevent your ex from maliciously damaging your credit by misusing credit cards that are partially in your name.
Understanding what happens in property and debt division proceedings in a Mississippi divorce will take some of the stress out of coping with your ex’s financial shenanigans.