Credit Card Debt


I had a credit card which I allowed my wife to use as an authorized user. It was not a joint account, she was just an authorized user so she had her own card with her name on it, but the account was always in my name exclusively. The balance is about $10,000 and I would say 25% of that comes from my purchases and 75% comes from her’s (I still have to go through all the bills to pin that number down to an exact amount).

So we agreed to separate, and she called the company removing her name as an authorized user from the card. Is she still responsible for her debt, or am I stuck with it since the account is exclusively in my name?


While you are married, one is just as responsible for the debt as the other. It makes no difference who the account is titled in. However, you never know how the COURT will treat this issue. Marital debt is supposed to be marital debt, so if these charges occurred during the marriage, it may not make any difference. It just depends. Seems so many people believe whoever incurred the debt during the marriage should be responsible (like you are a separate entity although married)…I don’t get this. If you are MARRIED, then it is one and the same. But…so many feel if he or she didn’t make the actual purchases, he or she is exonerated…what’s the point of marriage? I give up. Marital debt is marital debt. Who cares who bought what? I don’t know. The lawyer must answer. Were you living as divorced although married? Marriage makes you one entity. Usually. But what do I know?


The credit card debt is marital in nature and will be accounted for in the equitable distribution of property. Since the card is in your sole name the credit card company will hold you responsible. Rather than having your wife agree to pay towards the card it may be better to take the entire debt and allocate the other assets to make up for your taking the entire burden.


VERY TRUE. Do you trust her to pay her part (even if ordered by the court)? It’s YOUR FICO and credit report at risk.

I took on ALL the marital debt in my case because I did not trust him to pay his part of the debt. In exchange, he signed the house over to me with no interest in the equity. I came out way ahead. I now have a house in MY name…with super equity in it…he has crappy credit (thus the reason I took over the debt), no house, no equity…no nothing to his own name. He now has remarried and his new wife controls everything…because he can’t. Hmmmmmmm