We divorced 3 years ago and split our credit cards – at the time of the divorce one credit card was 4300 – which my ex wife took – she never removed my name – now it’s at 10,000+ and the credit card company is going after both of us – my attorney advised me to take my current wife and my accounts out of my name – which I’m doing – the divorce papers state that they couldn’t hold each other responsible for the others debt. His attorney also said for us not to go to court over the summons
My questions is do I show up and try to fight this – and am I really going to be held responsible for her and her new husband running this credit card up?
This is a common problem with divorce. Although you might have a divorce agreement about how the two of you would like to deal with your debt, joint accounts remain joint accounts regardless of what any divorce agreement says.
Your divorce agreement has no bearing on your previous agreements with creditors. When you divorce, you divorce your spouse, not your creditors.
In situations like this you can and will be held responsible for the debt. Your option here is to take your ex-wife to court to enforce your agreement in divorce. Force her to pay. And then, get your name off the joint accounts as quickly as possible.
However, without the balances being zero I would imagine the creditors are going to be reluctant about letting you off the account. There is no easy process to remove a joint account holder unless the creditor agrees to do it.
If your divorce attorney is not familiar with these issues regarding debt, then rush to find a consumer attorney ASAP and discuss this with them. One place to find a consumer attorney who is licensed in your state is to click here.
If you stick your head in the sand on this and don’t try to fight any suit that names you with any old joint debt, you will lose and a judgment will be entered against you. Your wages could be subsequently garnished.
In fact, if the old joint account is so delinquent that a summons has been issued it is very likely this is already being reported on your credit report and hurting your credit score.