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Baltimore County Family Law Attorney Blog

Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Credit Card Liability and Divorce.

Written by Amar Weisman » June 28, 2013 »

There are a number of factors that will determine whether a person is responsible for his or her ex-spouse’s credit card debt that was incurred during the marriage. Not only will the parties’ divorce decree spell out which party is responsible for which debt, but whose name is on the contract with the credit card company will also impact this determination. Clearly, the facts in each situation also can make a difference in this determination of liability. If you find yourself in this difficult situation, your Towson divorce attorney can help you sort out what responsibility, if any, you have with respect to your former spouse’s credit card debt.

In the state of Maryland, all debts that the couple incurred during the marriage are divided up between divorcing spouses. While the law presumes that debts should be split equally between the parties, there are some circumstances in which the court will determine that only one spouse or the other is responsible for the debt in question. For instance, if one spouse ran up a credit card debt into the thousands of dollars just prior to the divorce without the knowledge of the other spouse, then it is very possible that a judge may make the spouse who incurred the charges solely liable for the credit card debt. Otherwise the judge might divide the parties’ assets and liabilities so as to make that spouse responsible for those charges, however they are actually paid.

However, your Towson divorce attorney must caution you that a court order or divorce decree about a particular debt does not mean that the creditor to whom the debt is owed won’t pursue you for the debt. Many people make the mistake of thinking their divorce decree will protect them if their ex-spouse does not pay a credit card debt as ordered by the divorce court. However, the credit card company is not a party to your divorce decree. This means that even if your divorce decree orders your ex-spouse to pay a credit card bill, there is nothing to stop the credit card company from coming after you for the debt if your ex-spouse fails to do so. While you may be able to hold your ex-spouse responsible in the divorce court for failing to follow the court’s order, this will not protect you from having to pay the credit card debt if it was a joint account or a debt with your name on it.

A practical piece of advice from your Towson divorce attorney for divorcing couples would be to immediately cancel all joint accounts and credit cards upon your separation or initiation of divorce proceedings. This can help protect you in the event that your soon-to-be-ex-spouse goes on a spending spree prior to your divorce being finalized.

For more information about how credit card debts can be most effectively dealt with during your divorce, contact your Towson divorce attorney today.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation 

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free ConsultationThe Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.