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Ellen, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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How can I close or otherwise stop my spouse from using credit

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How can I close or otherwise stop my spouse from using credit cards just prior to when I file for divorce? He has vowed to "make things difficult" and with no income, I suspect he will run up the cards just to burden me and/or commit financial suicide to take me down with him. He chooses not to work BTW. Won't take any job beneath him.
*This chat is not intended as legal advice. It is general information that may or may not apply to your situation and should not be relied upon.*


Thank you so much for directing your question to me. I appreciate your trust and confidence.

So that I can provide you with the most accurate information, please tell me:
  • Are the credit cards in question in both your name and your husband's name?
  • Have you filed the petition for divorce or any court pleadings to date?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your response,


1. Credit cards, mortgage, bank accounts, and cars are in both our names. Little marital assets and/or equity since he has not worked for 4-5 years.


2. Have not filed anything as yet. I am in the planning information gathering strategy planning stage.



Hi Mary,

Thank you so much for your information.

You can contact all of the credit card companies and close the accounts. Additionally you can consider closing your bank accounts to prevent your husband from writing checks in excess of the bank balance. It is not legally necessary for you to give him any advanced warning prior to taking these actions.

I would be glad to respond to any related follow-up questions that you may have.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Cards have balances on them - too large to be paid off completely with current savings. Would I still be able to close them? And if not, what other strategy might I use?

Mary it is not necessary to pay off the balance in order to close the account. You will need to contact the creditor and state that you would like to close the account
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Would he be able to re-open the account if there is still a balance??

No he would be required to open a new account. The new account would be in his name alone unless you cosign
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If what you say is true, it would be an incredible relief to know I can close them. But everything I read online says that you have to have a zero balance to close a joint account. You can "freeze" new charges, but the other person can simply call in and un-freeze the account??

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify Mary.

The credit card issuer will not let you out of the contract when you close the account if you have an outstanding balance. However you are not asking the credit card company to relieve you from the indebtedness already incurred on the account– you are simply telling the credit card company that you are not going to be liable for any further charges on the account. Furthermore when you petition the court for divorce, the court can order your husband not to make any additional charges
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