I had a friend named Sally with ex-husband named Brad. Sally and Brad were recently divorced. Their court-approved divorce decree stated that Brad would pay the balances on their 3 joint credit cards. Months later, Brad had neglected to pay off the balances, and all 3 credit card companies contacted Sally for payment. She insisted that, according to her divorce decree, she was not responsible for the accounts, Unfortunately, Sally was wrong.
No matter what your divorce decree says, you are legally responsible for any joint accounts in both you and your husband’s name. Any accounts that aren’t paid off or are paid late will show up on your personal credit report. If you are getting a divorce, protect yourself:
Look closely at accounts held jointly, including mortgage, home equity loans, and credit cards.
Ask creditors to convert any joint accounts to individual accounts. Or, if you can’t convert them, close the accounts and try to reopen them as individual accounts. Remember to close or convert any individual credit accounts in which you authorized your husband to be a user.
If your husband has agreed to pay off a debt, have the account converted to his name instead of yours.
Don’t depend on a divorce decree to force your husband to pay off joint debts. Be responsible for the accounts yourself.
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