Cross Glazier Burroughs, PC

Divorce agreements do not apply to creditors

Your divorce agreement is between you and your ex. You are bound by any court orders. However, do not assume that what you decide as you end your marriage lays out a mandate for all other parties involved.

Notably, creditors are not bound by these agreements. They still go by the initial agreements that you signed when you borrowed the money in the first place. This is why many experts suggest that divorcing couples quickly shut down any joint accounts and start new ones in their own names.

For instance, maybe you and your spouse applied for a credit card together. You got it. While you both had individual plastic cards, they were identical in everything but name, and it was the same account.

In doing so, you both agreed to pay off whatever was owed on that account. It does not matter if your spouse's card was actually used to make the purchase or if yours was used. You both took on an obligation to pay.

That lasts through divorce. If you stay on a joint account and your spouse adds more debt to that account, you may still have to pay at least a portion of that debt. If your spouse refuses or fails to pay, the creditors can come after you for the money. It does not matter that you got divorced or that your ex told you they would pay it off. You still have to do so if you're bound by a legal agreement with the credit card company.

This is just one reason why you really need to make sure you understand the financial side of a divorce.

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