Are you liable for your spouse’s credit card debt in a Pennsylvania Divorce?
Pursuant to section 3501(a) of the Pennsylvania Divorce Code, all debt acquired from the date of marriage, until the date of final separation, including credit card debt, is “marital debt.” No matter which party opened or used the credit card, credit card debt from the date of marriage, until the date of final separation, is “marital debt.”
All “marital debt” is subject to equitable distribution by the court pursuant to section 3502(a) of the Divorce Code. This means that the court has authority in a divorce matter to apportion, or not apportion, marital credit card debt in whole, or in part, to either spouse. There are several Pennsylvania cases which discuss how courts should divide debt in a divorce, and some of those cases are discussed in the article “How is debt handled in a Pennsylvania Divorce?”
Although the court has authority to apportion marital debt, the Divorce Code does not create a separate cause of action for credit card companies to seek repayment from a debtor’s spouse if the debtor’s spouse was not already liable for the credit card debt.