Common challenges when splitting debt

A company you owe money to does not have to honor an agreement with your spouse

If you and your spouse make an agreement between yourselves that just one of you will pay off a joint debt, the company or person you owe the debt to, like a credit card or mortgage company, does not have to honor the agreement. If the person who agreed to pay the joint debt doesn't pay or misses a payment:

  • The company may seek payments from you both
  • It may hurt both of your credit ratings

You can go to family court to make your ex-spouse pay what they agreed. But, this probably won't fix your credit or stop creditor calls.

Consider options other than splitting debt 

Clear your debt, if possible.

  • Sell items to pay off the debt 

  • Take out a new line of credit to pay off the debt from your marriage 

Have the person most able to pay the debt take over payments, but give them more property 

Sometimes paying off the entire debt isn't possible. If one of you will be better able to pay off the debt, then that person can take over the entire debt. But, then this person can get more of the community property. Or, they could get a reduced spousal support order.  You may both still be liable for the debt, but this may decrease the chance that you'll default on the debt.

Talk to a lawyer

 if you have questions about debt and liability, or potential bankruptcy. Find a lawyer.
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