If an ex-spouse files for bankruptcy, is the other spouse responsible for all the debt if the divorce paperwork provides for a 50/50 split?

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If an ex-spouse files for bankruptcy, is the other spouse responsible for all the debt if the divorce paperwork provides for a 50/50 split?

My brother is in the process of getting a divorce and has 40k in shared credit card debt with his soon to be ex-wife. The ultimate plan is to split the debt 50/50. Once the divorce is finalized and the ex-wife files bankruptcy, will the other spouce be responsible for the full debt or just his half of the debt as stated in the finalized divorce paperwork?

Asked on September 13, 2010 under Family Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This is complicated in that it really depends on what she lists in the bankruptcy petition: 20K or the 40K.  Why?  Because the credit card company does not care about what your divorce agreement says.  All they care about is collecting their money.  So if both of them opened the account and both were on the original contract then they are both responsible for the debt - equally in the eyes of the credit card company - and they can go after both of them for the 40K.  If she lists only 20K in debt then it will discharge only 20K in debt and that would leave 20K left.  She may have an action over and against you pursuant to your agreement but the credit card does not care. They will still come after both of you.  Seek legal help.  Good luck.


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