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Are you responsible for your spouse’s spending?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2023 | Credit Card Debt

You feel that your spouse’s spending has gotten out of control. Perhaps you’re even considering a divorce. You know that it’s impossible for you to pay off the debt that your spouse has accumulated. You’re worried about what it will mean for your financial future. 

But are you even responsible for that debt? Maybe your spouse was spending secretly and you just found out about it recently. You certainly didn’t authorize that spending or do it yourself, but is it still going to have a negative impact on your financial situation? Will you need to declare bankruptcy to get rid of the debt?

Shared accounts

In many cases, you would be responsible for your spouse’s spending. This is because married couples will have shared bank accounts and joint credit card accounts. Even if there’s only one account, if both of you are named on it, then you are both responsible for that spending. Your spouse may have been the one to run the credit card at the time of purchase, but that does not absolve you from this responsibility on a joint account.

There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, perhaps you are just an authorized user on your spouse’s credit card account, not a shared account holder. This may mean that you are not responsible for their spending, even though you were also allowed to make charges on the account. This status should have been selected when the account was initially opened. 

This can be a complicated situation. It may be wise to look into all of your legal options moving forward.

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The Law Office of Kim Covington, is a woman owned debt relief agency, and I have helped families, individuals and small businesses, file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, for over 24 years.