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Mark Abzug

Do I have to pay my ex’s gambling debts on our credit card?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2023 | Property Division

With its convenience and benefits, credit cards have become a staple mode of payment in the U.S. However, a credit card has its drawbacks. And for divorcing parties, it is an additional issue to address. Who pays for credit card debts?

Traditional versus joint credit card

Florida is part of the majority of states that apply equitable distribution rules during property division in divorce. Under these rules, courts distribute marital properties and debts equitably and fairly between spouses. So, if you and your spouse share a credit card, courts will divide debts incurred therein between you. Each of you shall be solely liable for your purchases that do not contribute to the marriage. If your spouse incurred gambling debts using the card, they will be the one to pay them.

However, the rules are different if the credit card is joint. With joint credit cards, both of you sign to take equal responsibility for debts incurred, no matter who made the purchases. If your spouse fails to pay their gambling debt, creditors can go after you.

This is definitely a pressing issue, especially if you have nothing to do with the debt. Fortunately, courts consider all circumstances during property division. So, you may not have to share your spouse’s debts on your joint credit card. This can be expressed in the divorce agreement, whether by court order or settlement contract.

Be ready for all possible scenarios

While the courts can order only your spouse to pay the debts under your joint credit card, creditors may not acknowledge the same and still try to go after you if your spouse fails to make payments. In this case, you may bring an action against your now ex-spouse for failure to comply with the divorce order.

Property division is a complex process. And each case brings in unique circumstances, making the process more challenging. However, relief is still available. You can establish your case and protect your rights by checking available resources and consulting a legal professional.