Post Divorce Issues

The separation agreement created rights between your husband and his ex, but it could not change the rights of third parties, such as creditors. If your husband is the cardholer, he remains liable to the creditor. However, he can sue his ex for breach of contract for failing to pay the debt as provided in the separation agreement, and provided she has some assets, he should be able to recover damages from her.

Lara Stanford Davis
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

Hi, new here and don’t speak legalese… ha ha…

Ok, here’s the situation…My husband and I married 12 December of 03. He and his wife had been separated since 1 May of 02.

They split their bills, he got two of their joint accounts (which we paid off in December 03) and she got one of their joint accounts.

Their separation agreement reads (after quoting who had to pay what): “The wife coveneants and represents that she has not heretofore incurred or contracted, nor will she at any time in the future incur or contract, any debt, charge or liability whatsoever for which the Husband, or his property or his estate, is now or may become liable, and the Wife further covenants at all times to keep the Husband free, harmless, and indeminified of and from all debts, charges, and liabilities heretofore or hereafter contacted by her.”

Which brings us to this: I get a phone call upon returning from work this evening pertaining to a debt that my husband owes which is 5 months past due. I explained to the gentleman that we only have 3 credit accounts outstanding in his name, and his company is not one of them. The man explains to me that my husband is the primary account holder and that we need to make some payment arrangements. I gave the phone to my husband who had NO idea that this account was in his name.

Turns out that this account, according to their separation agreement/divorce paperwork, is the ex-wife’s responsibility, and that she is supposed to be paying on this account. The account is over the limit and we have asked the creditor to please send us the last two years’ account summary (this will take 5-10 business days). This account, it turns out, was paid regularly until last October, at which time it began accruing over the limit fees and late feels to the tune of $78.00 per month.

The creditor told us that they didn’t care what the court documents stated, because my husband is the primary account holder and they want their money.

Our question is this: Do we have any legal rights? This particular account was listed under his ex-wife’s responsibilities, and that she was supposed to pay this, but now they are coming after us. Do we have any recourse whatsoever?



“The trick is to keep breathing” Shirley Manson