What are my rights if my wife has not paid a credit card that she was supposed to as per our divorce decree?

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2011

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What are my rights if my wife has not paid a credit card that she was supposed to as per our divorce decree?

I was divorced in OK 3 years ago. A joint credit card account was agreed to be paid by my ex-wife as stated in the divorce decree, approved and signed by the judge. The bank has called me 2 times this week and told me that the account is behind by 2 payments and it wants me to pay $1200 to bring it up to date. The bank states that the divorce decree, although a legal document, does not mean anything to them, and that I am still the primary holder of the account. What do I need to do? Should I contact the judge?

Asked on September 17, 2011 under Family Law, Oklahoma


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The fact of the matter is that since the creditor was not a party to your divorce, it is not bound by its terms. Therefore, while you wife was to pay this account off, if she did not your are still liable as the primary account holder. And your credit can be affected.

At this point you can contact the court since your wife is in contempt (i.e. violation of the divorce decree, which is a court order). Additionally, you can sue her in small claims (depending on the amount) to recoup any out-of-pocket expenses that you have to pay to clear this matter up.

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