If you are like most married people, you and your spouse have some amount of joint debt. This might be in the form of a mortgage, a vehicle loan, a credit card or something else.
When you plan to get divorced, you’ll need to figure out what to do with this joint debt.
Repaying joint debt prior to or during a divorce
Some couples decide to collaboratively repay all of their joint debt before they get divorced in an effort to simplify their divorce negotiations. Other couples might decide to work out debt repayment during their divorce, perhaps by selling their home and using the proceeds to pay off their debts.
Debt liability after a divorce
If you cannot repay your joint debt before or during your divorce, you and your spouse will need to agree on who will pay which debt going forward. U.S. News and World Report indicates, however, that should your name remain on an account your spouse agrees to repay, you could still be viewed as liable in the eyes of the creditor. This may happen even if your divorce decree names your spouse as the responsible party for the debt.
One way around this situation is to request your spouse to open a new account in his or her name only and transfer the previously shared debt to that account.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people in Texas an overview of how they might end up being stuck with debt from a former spouse if they don’t address things completely during their divorce.