Many couples who divorce have marital debt that must be divided. Sometimes jointly held debt will be assigned to one spouse in a divorce judgement – he or she will assume responsibility for payments as part of the division of marital debt and property in a divorce. However, what happens if an ex-spouse does not make payments on jointly held debt or declares bankruptcy after the divorce? Is the other spouse protected from financial harm?
Although a judgement of divorce separates and assigns debt to each spouse, in the eyes of the creditor the debt remains the responsibility of all borrowers on a loan or credit card. If your ex-spouse defaults or declares bankruptcy on jointly held debt, the creditor may seek payment from the other spouse. What can you do if a creditor comes after you for a debt assigned to your ex-spouse in a divorce? It’s important to seek the help of an experienced attorney.
A divorce settlement agreement will often have language dealing with situations where an ex-spouse does not hold up their end of the agreement regarding the payment of marital debt. Although it does not end your responsibility to a creditor, a well thought out agreement will include remedies that you can pursue in family court. This may include a post judgement motion ordering the responsible spouse to reimburse the other spouse for the payment of the debt. In cases of bankruptcy, the other spouse may not be able to discharge debt owed from a judgement in a divorce, but it is important to clarify this with your attorney.
When you are divorced and your ex-spouse is not holding up his or her end of the bargain with regard to paying off marital credit card debt or loans assigned in a divorce judgement, contact the law offices of Ronald L Bell & Associates PC for immediate assistance at 847-495-6000.