Heads up when you get divorced: if you keep your name on joint accounts, whether by accident or intentionally, you will still be held liable for debts and charges that are made on those accounts.
When you are filing for divorce and getting together all of your financial records, check to see if you are a joint user or an authorized user on your spouse’s cards. If you are an authorized user, you will not be held liable for future debt, but if you are a joint user, your ex’s use of that credit card can affect you long after your marriage is over. Even if you have already gotten divorced and your spouse has been ordered to cancel the joint card, check your credit report using a free service like CreditKarma or by requesting a copy from the credit reporting bureaus to see if the card is still listed.
When you get divorced, your settlement agreement should mandate that all joint cards and accounts be canceled. It doesn’t always happen that way, though. Say your spouse failed to carry through with the transfer. This could open you up to snowballing credit card debt and even the financial ramifications of bankruptcy, which sometimes follows divorce. If you don’t act quickly, things could spiral out of control for you, even if you are the fiscally responsible one. If you do find that your ex failed to cancel joint accounts despite the settlement agreement, you can take your spouse to court on a contempt motion for violating the terms of the divorce agreement.
This rule goes for all kinds of joint accounts. A common one is car loans. Creditors are not interested in what the divorce court has to say about the car loan, so if you get divorced and the courts say your ex is liable for the loans, but your name is still on the account, the holder of the car loan can still go after you.
Our Denver divorce lawyers have a vested interest in helping you prepare for your financial future following divorce.