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What happens if my ex wife files for bankruptcy after she signed off in the divorce to take all the debt that was in my name?

Jersey City, NJ |

The debt was accrued because of her under all my credit cards. If I include a hold harmless clause will that protect me from her filing for bankruptcy? If she does file for bankruptcy will that come back to me?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Your divorce decree does not protect you from the creditors--they can (and will) still come after you.

    If she files a Chapter 7 bankruptcy--saying sorry, I can't pay--she is NOT protected from you coming after her to enforce the divorce. So the creditors will come after you and see what they can get from you; you can go after her and see what you can get from her.

    If she files a Chapter 13, a payment plan, then she has to work out with the bankruptcy court how much she has to pay--and you get a share of that. But you cannot go after her for any more than the bankruptcy court says she has to pay. The creditors will still come after you.

    Depending on your situation, you might be better off filing bankruptcy yourself on these debts, and not being involved in two long battles, one with your creditors and one with her.


  2. I agree with Mr. Weed. Creditors are not bound by the provisions in your divorce decree.

    Unfortunately, many spouses agree to waive spousal maintenance or a portion of the martial property on the basis of the other spouse's assurance that they will pay certain debts. There is little to prevent a spouse from declaring bankruptcy and discharging their obligations on those debts.

    You should really speak to a bankruptcy attorney in your area to determine your options. Many firms offer free consultations.

    Legal disclaimer: This communication is for information purposes only and does not represent legal advice or an attorney-client relationship.

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