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Does a divorce decree get you out of debt?

When you decide to get divorced, one of your goals is to make sure your spouse takes on your joint credit card debt. You take other debts in a trade, and they agree to it. Your divorce decree specifies that your ex is supposed to pay off the credit card companies.

But is that enough to get you out of debt? Not necessarily. "You can't show your creditor the divorce decree and say you're no longer liable for the debt," warn financial experts.

This setup does work if your spouse goes through with it and pays off whatever you owe on the account. But, if they fail to do so or stop making the payments, you may still be liable. In the eyes of the credit card company, you're both liable the entire time because you both signed that contract. Married, divorced, single: It's all the same to them.

To make sure you really get out of debt, you may want to consider transferring that debt onto a personal account that only your ex controls. Then you can just close the joint account and really walk away from the obligation. Another potential option is to use your assets to pay off the debt entirely at the time of the divorce. Splitting up with no debt is a simple, easy way to move forward.

As you can see, asset and debt division during divorce can get complicated. It is very important for you to know what legal options you have, and which ones are going to be best for your specific situation.

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