Part of the property division process during your divorce in Georgia includes dividing any debt. This is often a complex process because you secure a debt with a contract. This introduces a complication because the court cannot change agreements with creditors. However, the court can still divide debt and order you to pay the debt, even if it is not in your name.
U.S. News and World Report explains that the division of debt follows the same rules as the division of marital property. The court looks for a fair and balanced way to divide debts you and your spouse incurred together during the marriage.
The division of debt
While you hold the legal responsibility for a credit card that is only in your name, the court may still order your ex-spouse to pay a portion of that debt. Typically, a judge holds you partially responsible for any debt that results from purchasing items or other expenses benefiting you and the household. So, the judge can make you pay for a credit card debt even if the account is in your ex-spouse’s name only.
Joint accounts are simple for the court to divide because you would both owe the outstanding balance. The court would likely do an even split or a fair split depending on other factors, such as who incurred the debt and how much income you each have.
Responsibility for debt
When a credit card is in your name only, you have all the legal responsibility to pay that debt. This is true even if the judge orders your ex-spouse to pay a portion of that debt. The creditor cannot go after your ex-spouse to collect the debt; it can only go after you.
So, even if the judge says your ex-spouse must pay part of the credit card bill, you still have to be sure it gets paid or else you could face legal action from the creditor. If your ex-spouse fails to pay the amount ordered, you would have to go back to family court.
Dividing debt, especially credit card debt, may be slightly complicated because of the different legal aspects. However, you need to keep in mind the ultimate responsibility to avoid harming your credit score.