CALL NOW!
FREE PHONE/VIRTUAL CONSULTATION

Will You Be Held Responsible for Your Ex-Spouse’s Debts Once Your Divorce is Final?

If you’re like most people, your divorce was one of the most frustrating experiences of your life. Even under the best of circumstances, where you and your spouse both agreed to the divorce and the majority of decisions concerning the end of your marriage, the process can still be daunting. The completion of a divorce can make you feel like celebrating, but what if you learn you are still responsible for things your spouse did – like accumulate financial debt?

Just because your marriage is over doesn’t mean your spouse’s creditors – and the law – aren’t going to hold you responsible for things he or she did while you were married.

What should you do when divorcing or after you’re divorced to protect your self?

Here’s what you need to know:

If responsibility for your spouse’s debts is part of your divorce settlement, this means you must pay these debts. However, if your court determines your spouse is responsible for your debts and he or she does not pay them, you can be sued by the creditors.

The bottom line is creditors will do whatever they can legally do to get the money owed to them. Just because you have a divorce agreement does not mean you will not be responsible for a debt. Decisions made in family law apply only to the family, not to creditors, so telling a bill collector your divorce agreement released you from responsibility isn’t going to get you very far.

Role of Family Court

Should your ex-spouse fail to honor his or her obligations that were determined in family court to pay a debt, your initial recourse would be to pursue payment through the family court system. This is the option most people would choose, assuming their finances are otherwise in good standing.

Hopefully, you won’t be driven to bankruptcy due to a debt incurred by a former spouse alone.

For a deeper look into whether you should consider bankruptcy, check out this article from US News & World Report.

How Bankruptcy Could Help

The only other way to deal with a debt shared in some way by you and your former spouse when you want to eliminate the debt is by filing for bankruptcy.

Either spouse can file, but the type of bankruptcy that will accomplish a discharge varies from case to case. Chapter 7 deals with spousal debt and family court settlements a bit differently than it would with debts originally incurred by the person actually filing for bankruptcy, so it’s important not to make any assumptions about your debts.

A bankruptcy attorney can help you determine whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be your best option. Just be sure to explain the origin of the debt to your attorney, so he or she can use the appropriate method to eliminate the debt, if possible.

If you have questions about how bankruptcy and divorce interact or you are considering bankruptcy in the midst of a divorce, we can help. For more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 to schedule a free consultation.

Archive

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

How Will Filing for Bankruptcy Affect My Credit?

Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit? Not paying your bills affects your credit negatively. And yet problems with credit are one...
Read More

Behind or In Default on Your Student Loan? Here’s What You Should Know

Student Loan Default If you’ve fallen behind on student loan payments or your student loans are in default, you aren’t...
Read More

Will Bankrutcy Affect My Job? Learn How Filing Affects You in the Workplace

Will Bankruptcy Affect My Job? Filing for bankruptcy raises many considerations. One of the most important is whether or not...
Read More

Can Bankruptcy Help Me If I’m Behind on Child Support?

Bankruptcy and Child Support Bankruptcy can help you with a lot of things. It can help you stop calls from...
Read More

Can You File for Bankruptcy When You’re Unemployed?

Bankruptcy and Unemployment Being in debt is bad enough, but if you’ve lost your job recently or accumulated debt because...
Read More

Bankruptcy and Eviction History

Eviction With the rate of evictions on the rise in recent months and the expectations that eviction numbers will grow,...
Read More

What to Expect Once You’ve Decided to File Bankruptcy from Home

File Bankruptcy from Home There are a few things that happen when you file bankruptcy from home. An automatic stay...
Read More

Will Filing for Bankruptcy Affect My Job Search? What You Need to Know about Unemployment and Bankruptcy

Unemployment and Bankruptcy Searching for a job when you are faced with a dire financial situation is difficult. If you’ve...
Read More

Will I Need to Go to Court If I File for Bankruptcy?

File for Bankruptcy from Home One of the most intimidating aspects of filing for bankruptcy is meeting in person with...
Read More

COVID-19 and Debt – 5 Ways the Pandemic is Leading More People to Bankruptcy

COVID-19 Debt If you’re considering bankruptcy you aren’t alone. The last few months of 2020 have brought a great deal...
Read More

Bankruptcy

For The Next 5 Days GET A FREE BOOK About Bankruptcy

Learn More

Infographics

We are A Debt Relief Agency.
We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code

Pay Online Bankruptcy Courses Newsletter Subscription

NACBA Logo comodo avvo1 avvo2 avvo3 LEA BBB Logo RG Seal

Call For A Free Initial Consultation

813.254.5696

Tampa Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
807 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 254-5696
T: (800) 853-7549
F: (813) 253-3405

Map And Directions

St. Petersburg Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
125 5th Street South
(Wells Fargo Financial Center)
2nd Floor, Suite G
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: (727) 532-3939

Map And Directions

Pasco Office

23526 State Road 54
Lutz, FL 33559
T: (813) 336-2320

Map And Directions