When going through a divorce, you can be left with different types of obligations. The most common is a domestic support obligation, such as child support or alimony, but you can also be made responsible for your spouse’s separate debts after divorce, usually as part of the property division.

For example, the wife gets to keep the dog and the house, and husband gets to keep the car. Wife, let’s say, then agrees (or is ordered by the court) to be responsible for all of husband’s credit card debts. Then for whatever reason, the ex-wife doesn’t make the payment on the credit cards. The credit card companies then sue the ex-husband who tries to defend by saying that it is his ex-wife’s responsibility!

Does this work?  How can this happen?

The truth is that divorce court/family law agreements and judgments only affect the two spouses, not third-party creditors like credit card companies. So in the above example, the failure of ex-wife to pay the credit cards as promised leaves her liable to her ex-husband, NOT to his credit card companies.

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