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The divorce decree made my former spouse responsible for our debt, but he/she isn't paying. Given this, the bank says it's my responsibility as a joint account holder to pay the debt. Is this correct?

Both joint credit account holders remain liable on the account until the debt is satisfied or otherwise discharged.

When married joint account holders get divorced, the following factors may be relevant:

  • The terms of a divorce decree are separate from the legal obligation of both parties to repay the debt under the account agreement.
  • Although the creditor may agree to release one party, it is not legally required to do so.

You may want to seek legal assistance to address any remedies available to you.

Last Reviewed: April 2021

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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