During the property division process of a divorce, both parties are given certain assets and certain debts. The division is approved by the court and the parties can move on with their lives. When it comes down to the debts that you and your ex shared, you should be aware that you might not be off the hook for the balance after all.
When you are divorced, there are only two parties that are involved in the dissolution of marriage – you and your ex. The creditors that hold the debts you have aren’t a party to the terms. This means that the creditors don’t necessarily have to abide by the terms of the divorce decree, which means that you might still be held responsible for joint debts that your ex was ordered to pay.
In some cases, the only way that you will be able to deal with the debt without it affecting your credit report is to pay the debt off even though your ex was responsible for paying it. If the creditor doesn’t receive payment, the creditor can opt to report the unpaid debt on your credit report.
Some creditors will work with you to get the debt taken care of. This might include converting a joint account to an individual account so that you can make payments and your ex won’t be able to add more charges to the balance. You might have to reapply for an account in order to be able to get the balance transferred.
If you are worried about your ex paying the debts, you should make sure that you take that into consideration during the property division process. This can help you to protect yourself from what might happen to your credit in the future.
Source: FindLaw, “Credit and Divorce,” accessed May 05, 2016