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Can an individual be held liable for post separation debts incurred by the other spouse?

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2013 | Bankruptcy, Chapter 13, Chapter 7, Divorce, Firm News

Yes. Debts are the same as negative assets, and the presumptive date for dividing a marital estate is the date of your pretrial, which is often many months after separation. There are two exceptions, which is that the parties can agree on a different date (and most parties agree to use the date of separation) or the court can find it’s fair to use a different date. Depending on the nature of the debt (i.e. whether it was for necessities while one spouse should have been supporting the other, vs. whether it was for a trip or gifts for the new lover) the court may or may not find it’s fair to use a different valuation date.

The above is premised on what a divorce party can do between spouses, as that appears to be the gist of your question, and applies regardless of whether the account is joint. I always advise divorcing parties to immediately cancel any joint credit accounts, so your spouse doesn’t run up debt in your name – even if they buy gifts for their new lover on your credit card, and the divorce makes your spouse pay it, that order would not be binding on the creditor.