If my wife moved out and upon separation we paid off our joint credit cards but she has racked up credit card debt since, am I still liable for that debt?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If my wife moved out and upon separation we paid off our joint credit cards but she has racked up credit card debt since, am I still liable for that debt?

She moved out 4 months ago and has a history or running up unnecessary debt in the past. We are getting a divorce.

Asked on June 21, 2018 under Family Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You are liable if the credit card she ran the debt up on is a joint card (one where you both are on the account), or is your card on which she is an authorized user, or is a card which you guaranted. 
If the card is wholly her own, then you are most likely not liable for charges: one adult, even a spouse, is not liable for another adult's charges except:
1) if they co-signed, guaranteed, etc. them;
2) a spouse IS liable for certain medical or other vital/necessary expenses of his/her spouse--the law expects spouses to take care of each other and not force the tax payers to do so. The main category of this is non-elective medical expenses: if she needed surgery or prescriptions for real health reasons (not just "life style" prescriptions) and put them on the card, you could be held liable for them if they are incurred while you and she are still married (pre-divorce being finalized).


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption