A History Of Growing Trust In Kentucky

Could you have to pay credit card debts you did not know about?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2024 | family law

Debt can affect divorce proceedings in Kentucky. This can be the case no matter which spouse’s name the debt is in and the type of debt.

Some people end up responsible for their spouse’s credit card debt even when they did not know about it.

Spousal responsibility for credit card debt

In Kentucky, marital property usually gets equitable distribution during divorce proceedings. However, this does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split. Instead, courts aim to divide assets and liabilities fairly based on various factors. They include each spouse’s financial situation and contributions to the marriage.

When it comes to credit card debt, Kentucky follows the principle of equitable distribution. Both spouses may be responsible for debts incurred during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the account. If one spouse has credit card debt, both parties may be on the hook for repayment, depending on the circumstances of the marriage.

Knowledge of debt

In 2023, the average credit card balance in Kentucky was $5,304. The court might not require you to pay credit card debt you did not know about. This may especially be the case if your spouse took on the debt solely for their benefit and took great pains to hide it from you.

However, proving this can be challenging. Courts often consider the overall financial situation of the marriage when making such determinations.

  • Witness Testimony: If possible, obtain testimony from friends, family members or financial advisors who can attest to your lack of knowledge regarding the credit card debt. Their statements can corroborate your claim and strengthen your case.
  • Financial Separation: If you and your spouse maintained separate finances or if the credit card in question was solely in your spouse’s name, it may be easier to argue that you were unaware of the debt. Providing evidence of financial separation, such as separate bank accounts or financial agreements, can support your claim.
  • Spousal Spending Patterns: If your spouse exhibited secretive or erratic spending behaviors without your knowledge, you can use this pattern to argue that you could not have reasonably known about the credit card debt. Evidence of excessive spending or financial mismanagement by your spouse can support your defense.

Taking proactive steps to protect your financial interests can help navigate this aspect of divorce proceedings smoothly.