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When a spouse racks up debt on joint accounts

Texas residents who are divorced might want to double check and make sure that their names are no longer on any joint accounts with their exes. When couples get a divorce, they are usually advised to get rid of any joint accounts that they hold together and to get new accounts in their names only. This is especially important when it comes to credit card accounts since creditors can come after anyone who is a joint account owner, regardless of if he or she contributed to the accumulation of the debt.

Take the instance of a man who divorced his wife but failed to ensure that his name was no longer on the credit card accounts he had shared with her. His ex-wife continued to spend on those accounts, even though they were no longer married, without taking his name off of them. Consequently, long after their divorce the man found that he couldn't get a loan because of the unpaid debt she had accumulated on the joint account.

The man's credit score was affected by the account because his name had never been taken off of it, and creditors could pursue him for the unpaid debt as well. In this case, the man may be able to sue his ex-wife, but the damage to his credit is already done.

Individuals going through divorces in Texas might benefit from consulting experienced attorneys who can help them ensure that they have addressed all necessary issues to move forward with their life. Attorneys might also help them devise a checklist that outlines all the important steps of the divorce and post-divorce process.

Source: FOX Business, "Ex-Wife Racks Up Debt on Joint Accounts", Sally Herigstad, November 04, 2013

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