Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,626
Registered: ‎10-13-2009
Re: Does it matter?

alyce830 wrote:

First post.... I'm obviously very new to all this.  I don't even know my FICO score.  I just ordered one and got an error but my debit card was charged so I guess I'll wait.


So my divorce/credit question is.....does it matter if my soon to be ex-husbands name is still on some of my accounts.   We have a secured joint credit card that we opened a couple of months before we split up and his name is on my auto loan.... both of which I have possession of and am paying on time. 


Also we've been separated for over 7 months now.  Does anyone know if I can be held liable for debts he incurred since we split up?  He's been evicted from an apartment for not paying rent and I've been worried that will come back to haunt me.    Our divorce won't be final until sometime in March.


Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.



Unfortunately, it does matter.  I'm sure that both you and your future ex-husband are very good people with the ability and desire to be responsible with your financial obligations, but we all know the now-famous statement by Forrest Gump:  Stuff happens!


Should something unfortunate happen and your spouse finds himself unable to meet his financial obligations, creditors can use that as an excuse to hike up your interest rates, reduce your credit limits or even close your accounts.  As a joint user, that may effect your credit also.  Auto loans generally have several acceleration clauses that can include scenarios other than simple nonpayment . 


Your liability for his financial mishaps prior to the issuance of a divorcxe decree depends a lot on state law.  As long as you are legally separated according to the laws in your state, you will probably be ok, but even then there can be major exceptions when it comes to medical or basic living expenses.  The most accurate advice will come from your divorce attorney.  One thing, however, to keep in mind is that no matter what your divorce decree states or the terms of your separation agreement, prior joint financial committments virtually never change. 


For example, if the terms of your divorce decree state that he is responsible for a joint credit account established prior to the date of the divorce decree, that in no way means the creditor cannot sue you over a default and obtain a judgment against you.