2. Forgetting about joint debts
Don’t forget about joint liabilities such as outstanding tax bills, mortgage debt, and joint credit card accounts. Your tax bill must be paid, your mortgage will likely need to be refinanced, and your joint credit cards will need to be canceled. Don’t wait until you receive a past-due notice to start handling your finances. Otherwise, old debts may come back to haunt you.
“Just as a divorcing couple must divide what they own, so they must divide what they owe. The piper must be paid…Credit card companies are not bound by a divorcing couple’s property agreement. In all jurisdictions, joint credit card debt is jointly owned because each spouse has joint and several liability for the obligation. Even when one spouse agrees to take on a debt, if it has the other spouse’s name on it — or in some cases, even it does not — the creditor has the right to come after both spouses for payment,” said attorney Michael J. Davis.