If my ex-wife charged up a joint credit card account prior to our divorce, can I still be held responsible for payment?

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If my ex-wife charged up a joint credit card account prior to our divorce, can I still be held responsible for payment?

It is something I had forgotten about but now since my name is associated to the account, I am having a difficult time with credit. There is now a lawsuit that has began to obtain funds. This is for $2500. How is it fair i am required to pay for her boyfriend’s car repairs?

Asked on June 29, 2015 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

"Fair," unfortunately, is not the issue. You write that it was a joint credit card, and that the charge was made pre-divorce; that being the case, you are liable for the debt. Your obligation is not dependent on the purpose of the charge, that state of your marriage, or any of those other equitable (fairness-based) factors, all of which are extrinsic (outside) your agreement with the card issuer and liability to them. You may be able to recover the money from your ex-wife in a lawsuit given the purpose to which she put the money, but will still be liable to pay it to the card issuer. You should consider trying to settle with them for a smaller amount and/or payment terms you can live with.


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