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Your spouse piled up credit card debt: Are you on the hook for it?

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2020 | Property Division |

Following is a divorce scenario that rings true for some impending exes in Michigan and elsewhere.

To wit: Your spouse consistently racked up purchases on a credit card during marriage in keeping with someone who won a national lottery.

Alas, no winning ticket every materialized.

Monthly bills did, though, and the card issuer has now turned aggressive in its payment demands.

Can it come after you?

That is a question that legions of splitting spouses don’t want to hear, of course. Many of them offer up the hopeful view that the spender must ultimately be on the hook for unpaid debt. Your partner spent cavalierly – he or she can now make good on what is owed.

That might indeed be the case. Another result might also issue, though, as noted in a recent Forbes article on settling credit card debt during the divorce process.

And that is this: Even the non-spending spouse can be held liable for debt incurred by a partner, if his or her name is on the card account.

That means a joint credit card, which is something that definitely merits focusing upon during divorce negotiations. Forbes notes that an individual in a common law state like Michigan is liable “for debt solely in their name, as well as any joint debt for which the individual was an authorized user.”

Credit card debt and other types of payment obligations can be addressed and judicially dealt with in a divorce agreement. A determination regarding payment duties and indemnification might not stop a creditor from continuing to target both ex-spouses in a payment matter, though.

It certainly bears noting that property settlement in a divorce involves both accumulated assets and debt. Questions or concerns can be directed to a proven family law legal team.