Can I be sued for my spouse’s debt after divorce?

People going through divorce often wonder what’s going to happen to their and their ex’s debt. If they haven’t resolved it before the divorce, people going through divorce will need to deal with their debt after divorce. In many divorce decrees, debt can be allocated–for example, the husband agrees to take responsibility for the Capital One card, while the wife agrees pay the B of A Visa. Life is good.

But here’s something that people often forget to tell you. If you were jointly liable on the Capital One card before the divorce, the divorce decree doesn’t get you off the hook. Even though a judge ruled that you don’t have to pay Capital One, the divorce decree doesn’t change your legal obligation to CapOne. If your ex stops paying his monthly payments, the credit card company can still sue you. In addition, they can come after the full amount of the debt, not just half the balance, or just the purchases you made.

This doesn’t mean you can’t enforce your divorce decree and go after your ex for the money, but if your ex had the money to pay the card, wouldn’t he have paid it to Capital One?

If you were wondering why divorce is one of the three biggest causes of bankruptcy (the other two are medical emergency and job loss) this might be a clue. If you’re dealing with debt after divorce, going through divorce, or you’re being sued for an ex-spouse’s debt, give us a call.

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