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Can a creditor go after me for my former spouse’s debt?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Divorce |

During divorce, you and your former spouse will typically go through property division, which may also deal with debt. This step can help you make precise arrangements, indicating who will be responsible for specific loans and other financial obligations.

Finalizing these details can help organize your finances as you transition to life after divorce. However, a collector may still contact you about your former spouse’s debt if they miss any payments. 

Am I still liable?

Divorce is a process that ends the marriage, not contracts with creditors. Unfortunately, you may still be liable for your former spouse’s debt if you failed to remove your name from the agreement with the creditor. These scenarios tend to happen with loans taken out during the marriage or joint accounts, such as:

  • Mortgages
  • Debt with significant value, such as auto loans
  • Expenses owed together during the marriage, such as medical costs, utility bills and other basics
  • Credit card and bank accounts co-owned during the marriage

Even if the divorce allowed you to divide and assign debt to a specific party, you may still be liable for overdue payments if you never amended the associated agreement. You could send your divorce decree to notify the creditor about the arrangement. Still, it can only serve as a notice and not release you from being responsible for the debt.

Knowing what to do about property-related complications

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when dividing properties and liabilities during divorce. The most appropriate strategy could vary based on the assets and debt you accumulated during the marriage. Organizing and settling these concerns can be crucial to avoid confusion after the divorce. If a creditor goes after you for your former spouse’s overdue payments, consider seeking legal counsel to determine the best way to clarify and address the issue.