Is Credit Card Debt of Ex-Husband Payable by Wife?

Kimberly Watson, Editor in Chief
May 21, 2012 /

Credit card debt is a huge burden for anyone and it could be an even greater one if a wife is left holding the responsibility for it by her ex-husband! Although it is always a priority to keep a clean sheet where your credit history is concerned, it could be a severe challenge for a just divorced woman.

However, regarding a credit card debt issue; in general, if you are not registered as an authorized user of the card, you would usually not be considered liable for payment of the balance due. It is recognized, that only stated account holders are responsible for charges made on credit cards.

Some may consider it their duty to pay for anything that was charged on your behalf, but the card issuer, will only pursue a claim against the husband for repayment.

In the nine community property states, which could be an advantage to research, credit card debt could be more complicated. In these states, debts incurred during the marriage are generally considered to be joint debts! This is recognized, even though one spouse has never acknowledged the loan or a credit card debt. In this case, husband and wife are responsible for all charges, regardless who incurred them.

It could be considered a wise action to dispense with dual credit card accounts during divorce proceedings, to protect the credit status of both parties. The situation becomes complicated and possibly unpleasant, if the spouses are named on a joint account. An alternative in this instance would be to pay off the credit card debt and close the account before the divorce is finalized.

Should the names of both parties remain on the account, keep in mind that a divorce decree does not supersede a contact with a credit card issuer. Accordingly, if he elects not to pay, then you would still be held liable for any credit card debt.


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