Divorce and Credit Cards
In some cases, a divorce court may include stipulations stating that one spouse is responsible for paying debt on credit cards that were taken out in their former spouse’s name. Of course, the concern then becomes that the ex-spouse will take advantage of this arrangement and rack up massive bills in the hopes that you will not notice and will be responsible for these new payments, even if you are only legally responsible for paying off existing marital debt.
This can be a difficult issue to navigate, depending on how receptive and helpful the credit card company is. You might, for example, request to have all bills sent directly to you so you can see how much you owe and what is being charged (and when). However, credit card companies do have privacy rules you will need to navigate, and if the cards were taken out in your spouse’s name, it can be hard to get that information. You might also find it hard to close out accounts that aren’t in your name, especially if your former partner is being uncooperative.
What should you do about credit card debt?
Of course, it’s still important that you take the necessary steps to ensure you aren’t paying for anything more than the debts for which you are legally responsible through your divorce decree. The credit card companies don’t care where the money is coming from — they just want to be paid. So your best option is to go back through the court system.
Visit the judge who handed down your divorce decree. Ask the judge to order your former partner to deliver all copies of credit card statements to you immediately. This will provide you with accurate information about charges that were incurred during the course of the marriage and could also pave the way for you to be repaid if you paid anything more than what was necessary.
My Spouse is Disobeying Direct Court Orders — Now What?
Most of the time, you can trust that if a court hands down direct orders to your spouse on a divorce-related issue, that spouse will comply. However, there are plenty of circumstances in which divorcing spouses will either violate court orders or fail to obey them entirely. What do you do if this becomes an issue in your case?
If you let your spouse get away with violating a court order once, there’s nothing stopping them from trying to do it again and again. Therefore, if your spouse violates an order, it’s important to address it immediately. Contact your attorney as soon as you can and have him or her send a letter to your spouse (or your spouse’s attorney) to resolve the issue right away.
Additional steps may be necessary
If the letter route doesn’t work, you are going to have to go to the court to have the order enforced. Your attorney will file a document called a “motion to enforce a court order,” which serves as a written request for the court to intervene in the case. At this point, the judge could proceed in any of several ways:
- Demanding your spouse follow the order immediately
- Requiring your spouse to completely fulfill their obligations on overdue payments
- Holding your spouse in contempt of court for a failure to meet the obligations of the original court order, which could result in fines or jailing (depending on the circumstances)
- Ordering your spouse to pay you back for any attorney’s fees and other costs you incurred due to bringing the motion
There are some situations in which urgent matters might require immediate court attention, but in most cases, this is how you can expect matters to proceed if you’re dealing with an uncooperative individual.
Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah
If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506