Avoid Debt Collection After a Divorce

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In most divorces, the ex-spouses agree that one of them will assume some or all credit cards, which were probably joint cards. Unfortunately, a divorce decree does not bind the creditors, who can still collect the debt from either account holder.

Often, the spouse who agreed to assume the credit card debt has a hard time paying it off, which lands the exes back together in collection. Debt collectors can continue to collect from both of the names on the account, regardless of what the divorce decree says.

To prevent marital debts from haunting you after divorce, be proactive. Whoever agrees to assume the debts should get a consolidation loan in his or her name only. If possible, do this before finalizing the divorce decree. If that won’t work, get your name off any account your ex has agreed to pay. Tell the banks your ex has agreed to be liable, and demand that they remove your name from the account. Do this in writing, and before the card goes into default.

If all else fails, close the account. That way, at a minimum, you can be assured that your ex cannot continue using the card and making the debt worse.