How Does Court Separate Debt Incurred By Each Spouse Separately

Jennifer Hankinson Dallas Divorce AttorneyQuestion:

From a financial point of view, how does the court separate debt (credit cards, etc.) incurred by each spouse separately (not joint accounts)? Is the other spouse responsible for non joint accounts after separation/divorce?


The division of the spouses’ community liabilities is generally done according to the court’s overall just and right division of the entire community estate. Whether a certain liability will be assigned to a spouse can depend on several factors, including:

  1. Spouse’s ability to pay,
  2. Which spouse was awarded the collateral securing the debt,
  3. The relationship of the creditor to the spouses, and
  4. Which spouse created the debt.

Generally, a Court’s assignment of debt does not change a creditor’s right to proceed against both spouses.

All liabilities identified as a spouse’s separate property are for the most part confirmed to that spouse. Separate debt is any debt acquired prior to marriage. Such debt will be assigned to that spouse upon divorce.

Community debts, which are debts acquired during the marriage, until divorce, are usually divided between the parties at divorce, based on the factors listed above. It is presumed that are debts acquired by a spouse during the marriage were done on behalf of the community. As such the debts are generally divided equally.

Any debt acquired after divorce, would be the sole responsibility of the ex-spouse that acquires that debt. So if you acquire a debt after the date of divorce, it would be your sole responsibility. Thank you for submitting your question for more information on this topic or to obtain more specific answers to your situation please contact a Texas Attorney. Please be advised that my answering of this question does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

To schedule an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Jennifer Hankinson, an attorney in the Dallas, Texas, office of Cordell & Cordell, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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