If my wife accumulated individual credit card debt, am I liable or responsible to pay for the debt?

We live in a non-community property state.

Asked on July 21, 2015 under Family Law, Delaware


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In most states, a spouse is only liable for credit card debt if the obligation is in their name. Therefore, if the credit card is only in your wife's name, you are not liable for that debt. However, to the extent that you have jointly owned assets, then the credit card company can still go after your wife’s interest in that property.

If the debt is for a joint credit card in both your names, then you and your wife are equally liable for it. In addition, if you are a co-signer on her credit card (even if it is not a joint account), you are still liable.

Note: The rules are somewhat different in community property states.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.