Many families are in situations with shared finances. If you make the bulk of the family's income, you may have given your spouse a secondary credit card for your account. This setup can be beneficial in many scenarios, but when divorce is imminent, it can pose some challenges. Some people advocate that you cancel this secondary card as soon as possible, but doing so can be either beneficial or detrimental. Here are some factors to consider about canceling this credit card.
Pro: It Saves "Revenge" Spending
In the case of a contentious divorce, your spouse may use the secondary credit card that is linked to your account to rack up a hefty bill as a ways of getting back at you. For example, he or she could begin to shop for expensive things simply out of spite, and the expenses that he or she can incur if the account has a high credit limit can add financial strain at a time that is already stressful. When you cancel the card, you'll avoid this risk.
Con: It May Seem Petty
Many couples want to keep their divorce as civil as possible, as this allows it to proceed faster and be less upsetting. When you cancel the secondary credit card, especially if you do it without advising your spouse, he or she may think that you're acting petty. This simple decision can add acrimony to the situation, which might be fairly amicable up to this point.
Pro: It Saves Financial Confusion
One of the things that you'll need to go over during divorce proceedings is your family's financial situation. Your divorce attorney will talk to you about dividing assets, which is a big talk but not one that has to be overly difficult. If your spouse has just spent a lot of money with your credit card, however, it adds one more expense that you'll need to rectify.
Con: It Could Affect Your Children
You should know that canceling the secondary credit card linked to your account could affect your children. For example, if you've already moved out, your spouse may be caring for your kids. Imagine the scenario of him or her going to the store to buy groceries for the children, pay a medical bill for them, or cover some other expense — and have the credit card transaction declined. You might have canceled the card to get back at your spouse, but you could be punishing your children, too.
Contact a firm, like Seiler & Parker PC, for more help.