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Making sense of post-divorce credit card debt

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2021 | Divorce

Even if you and your spouse have agreed to an amicable divorce in Florida, divorcing your debt may not be as easy. You will remain responsible for your ex-spouse’s debt if it was acquired on a credit card if that card was in your name.

Division of debt is less than straightforward

When you acquire a loan or a credit card, you sign a contract that says you are responsible for the debt. That contract remains binding after a divorce, even if you took out a credit card in your name and listed your spouse as an authorized user. Who pays for the debt can be confusing. For example, you may agree to pay the debt on a MasterCard account while your ex-spouse agrees to pay the Visa. Similarly, a judge may assign who is responsible for paying off which card. However, it’s not so simple, even when a judge assigns who should pay for specific debt. You remain contractually responsible for the debt no matter what.

Can you get your name removed from an account?

Most of the time, the answer is no. Most of the time, creditors are loathed to remove some’s name from an account, so you’ll have to find another way to get your ex-spouse to pay a debt for which he or she is legally responsible. One of the ways that you can enforce responsibility for debt is through an indemnification clause that stipulates who is responsible for what and outlines consequences if the debt is not paid.

Preserving your credit

Like other aspects of a divorce, determining how to split your debt takes proper planning. Amicable divorces, of course, are the easiest to accomplish. However, if you can’t agree on how to divide your debt, the courts will decide for you, which may not be the best course of action.