Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Don't Rack Up Debt to Get Revenge on Spouse

Surely you can think of better ways to punish a cheating husband than to run up his credit. If it were me, I'd look for something more satisfying and original -- and preferably more humiliating for him -- than running to the mall with his credit card.

Seriously, if you and your husband are still seeing each other, it's not really over. In fact, seeing each other when you're not living together is more intentional than just bumping into each other at the breakfast table every day. Divorce is a lot like bankruptcy -- sometimes it is necessary, but it should always be the last resort. If you're not absolutely sure you want this marriage to be over, I suggest finding a counselor or another wise person to help the two of you sort things out.

If you are determined to run up his credit, however, your legal liability depends on whether your name is on the account and the laws of your state.

If you do not live in a community property state (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington or Wisconsin) and you are not a joint account holder, you are generally not legally responsible for your husband's credit account balances. This is true even if you are anauthorized user. (If you're not an authorized user, using his cards could get you in more trouble. Don't do it.)

If you're in a community property state, consult with a legal professional where you live. In some states, the marriage ends for community debt purposes when you no longer live together, whether or not you occasionally see each other. In other community property states, you can be liable for debts that are run up until the divorce is finalized.

To view this article in its entirety, click here.

For more information, contact the Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/


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