A Divorce Attorney in Commack, NY Can Help Clients Divide Credit Card Debt

If a couple is divorcing, the extent of each party’s liability for credit card debts depends on several factors, such as whether they live in a community property or common law state, whether the credit card is jointly held, and who gets the debt in the divorce decree. Click here to learn about credit card debt as it relates to divorce.

Common Law and Credit Card Debt Liability

A divorce attorney in Commack, NY will typically follow the common law when helping clients divide assets and debt in divorces. In these areas, people are usually liable for all debts incurred in their name. Therefore, following a divorce, a person can be held responsible for joint and individual credit cards with their name on them. In most instances, a person cannot be held liable for debts owed only by the other spouse.

Credit Card Debt and Community Property Jurisdictions

Where debt and property distribution is concerned, some areas follow community property rules. Here, most debts accrued by either party during a marriage are considered to be held by both spouses. If a person lives in a state with community property rules, they may be held liable for credit card debts existing solely in the other spouse’s name.

If a Debt is Assigned to a Spouse in a Divorce Decree

It’s worth noting that credit card issuers are not legally required to abide by the terms of a divorce decree that assigns the debt to a certain person. When someone gets a credit card, they enter into a binding contract with the issuer and a judge in family court cannot alter the contract. If a spouse is assigned debt in a divorce, the other person can still be held liable if they were a signer on the account or if the debt was jointly held.

If a spouse files a bankruptcy petition after a divorce, their liability to credit card issuers is typically discharged. That means if both spouses’ names were on a card, the other spouse is now solely responsible. However, if the debt was assigned to a particular spouse and they agreed not to hold the other person liable, that debt isn’t discharged in bankruptcy court. If the spouse doesn’t pay off the debt, the other party and their divorce attorney in Commack, NY can sue them even if the credit card issuer cannot.

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