People in Connecticut who are going through divorces might want to make sure that they close all joint accounts that they hold with their former spouses to prevent problems from occurring later on. Even after couples are divorced, creditors may continue to pursue both of them for debts that they accumulated during the marriage. The same goes for debts that are incurred on joint accounts after they divorce as well.
One man who divorced his wife failed to ensure that his name had been removed from the joint credit card account that they shared together as required by the decree. Consequently, his ex-wife continued to incur charges after their divorce. The man discovered the situation after he went to apply for a loan and was informed of the negative impact that the unpaid account had on his credit rating.
She presumably should have noticed that she was receiving bills from the credit card company with both of their names on them. If she lacks the funds to make good on the credit card payments, obtaining a judgment against her for damages to him likely would only be a moral victory for him. He may be better advised to attempt to negotiate a payoff settlement with the issuer individually. Even if she was obligated by the divorce decree to close that account, the credit card company still could pursue either or both parties for recovery.
Divorce involves the consideration of many financial issues. It is important to remember that, while a divorce decree may impose a requirement on one of the spouses to take certain actions regarding a joint obligation, the creditor is not a party to that decree and can continue to seek repayment from both spouses.
Source: Fox Business, “Ex-wife racks up debt on joint accounts”, Sally Herigstad, November 04, 2013