Can You Ignore Your Ex-Spouse’s Credit Card Debt?

Can You Ignore Your Ex-Spouse’s Credit Card Debt?

December 02, 2016

You’re getting divorced, and the judge rules that the credit card debt that your spouse accrued belongs solely to them, so they’re responsible for paying it off. However, a few months later, you’re getting calls from debt collectors demanding payment for those credit cards. Some have threatened legal action, and you’re watching your credit score take a dive because your ex never paid the credit card bills.

What gives?

The issue comes down to the family court ruling. The court can say that your spouse is responsible for the credit card debt, but it won’t matter if they don’t force your spouse to set aside money for that purpose. Because credit card debt is unsecured, there’s no house, car, or property that serves as collateral.

As a result, credit card companies have two tactics: hurt your borrowing power, and call you until you pay them back. The credit card company doesn’t know you’re divorced—and they wouldn’t care if they did. All they want is someone to pay them back. If your ex refuses to pay their debts, then you’re left on the hook.

The Simple Solution to Prevent Credit Confusion

If your spouse is responsible for paying off credit card debt that is in both of your names, then your negotiations should reflect that. The court has the authority to demand payment for debt to be put into an escrow account or to set aside assets for that purpose. As soon as the credit payment is written into the divorce decree, it becomes enforceable—and your ex will be accountable.

Your divorce attorney should be experienced enough to keep an eye out for these details. Good lawyers don’t just allow your divorce to go smoothly—we have to make sure the agreement doesn’t leave you vulnerable in the future if your ex doesn’t honor their end of the bargain.

For more divorce insight, call (888) 251-9618 for a free consultation on your case. As one of the leading divorce lawyers in the Inland Empire, Attorney Bill Edgar wants to secure a brighter future for you.


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