Legal Professionals of Hirsch & Ehlenberger

2 ways credit cards can complicate high-asset divorces

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2023 | Divorce

Discussions about property division in high-asset Virginia divorces often focus almost exclusively on assets. Couples may fight about real property, business and retirement accounts, and they may ultimately ignore another, equally important aspect of their financial circumstances.

Marital debts, including credit card debts, can play a major role in division of a marital estate. Therefore, consideration of joint debts is important during the property division process. High-asset couples, in particular, may find negotiating how to handle their credit cards particularly challenging. These are the primary two ways in which credit card accounts can complicate property division in a Virginia divorce?

The debt they represent

It is common for high-asset spouses to have distinct financial circumstances, which means that simply splitting credit card debt evenly between the two of them might not be the most appropriate or fair solution. In some cases, couples made argue over the appropriate and reasonable way to divide their debts.

Higher-income households tend to have higher levels of debt in general, which can make taking on that debt as a single person feel very intimidating. One spouse may even want to exclude certain debts from the property division process because they feel that they represent the dissipation of marital assets. It can be very challenging for spouses to reach an agreement about the best way to divide their financial obligations when their circumstances are unusually complex and/or high-stakes.

Disagreements about splitting rewards

Higher-income couples are more likely to invest in paid credit card rewards programs with premium bonuses. The annual fee for the card may only be a fraction of the value of the rewards that spouses accrue by using it every year. They may have plane ticket vouchers or gift card credits that may be worth thousands of dollars. Taking stock of those rewards and finding a fair way to divide them can often be another challenge during divorce.

However, provided that people understand what triggers many disputes related to credit cards during a divorce, they may be able to proactively avoid such conflict by resolving those matters ahead of time. Identifying resources that often complicate property division negotiations and seeking legal guidance may help people better prepare for their upcoming divorce negotiations or litigation.


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