Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Kansas

Is a settlement agreement enough to clear me of responsibility of debt?

My husband and I divorced three years ago. At the time of the divorce we had a credit card with a balance of approx. $10,000. In the settlement agreement it stated that my spouse would be solely responsible for this debt. At this time my spouse has declared bankruptcy and it has come to my attention that I was never removed from the account. The bank is now calling me and telling me I am responsible for this $10,000 because I did not let them know about the divorce. However, I did fax over the divorce papers before they ever gave me anything in writing. There is no way I can afford to make even minimum payments on this account. Am I going to be held legally responsible for it?

Asked on 4/10/03, 5:04 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

James Rupper Powell, Brewer & Reddick
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Re: Is a settlement agreement enough to clear me of responsibility of debt?

You are probably going to held legally responsible for the debt. A spouse may discharge a debt owed to the other in bankruptcy unless his assumption of the debt was characterized as maintenance in the divorce degree. The fact that he is solely responsible for the debt in the divorce decree does not relieve you of liability for the debt. It only leaves you with a right of action against your ex and that right of action may have been discharged in the bankruptcy if he listed you as a creditor in his bankruptcy documents. There are some fine points that depend on the exact language of your divorce decree and exactly what happened in his bankruptcy case. These should be reviewed with an attorney who handles bankruptcy.

If you live in the Wichita area and would like to consult with our office, please call 316-265-7272.

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4/10/03, 6:28 pm

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