I think an important facet to your question is to whom is each spouse responsible.
If one spouse's name is on the credit card account, then that person is the one responsible to pay the account -- in the eyes of the credit card company. (I'll refer to the person named on the account as the debtor consistently through this answer. The other spouse, whose name is not on the account, I will call the non-debtor spouse.)
In Rhode Island Family Court, a judge may order that the non-debtor spouse pay the account. This order may enter before judgment or in the judgment. If the judge enters an order like this, the non-debtor spouse is responsible to pay the debt.
However, that responsibility is only to the Family Court, not to the credit card company. The Family Court does not have jurisdiction over the credit card company, which is not typically a party to a divorce or separation proceeding. The Family Court cannot affect the credit card company's right to receive payments from the debtor.
So what happens when the non-debtor spouse refuses to pay the credit card bill that he or she was ordered by Family Court to pay? First, the credit card company, which was not affected by the Family Court order, will pursue action against the debtor. The credit card company can place negative marks on the debtor's credit, call the debtor to collect the outstanding balance, and even file a lawsuit against the debtor. The Family Court order is not a defense to the credit card company's rights against the debtor.
The non-debtor spouse does not get away free though. The debtor can often pursue an action against the non-debtor spouse in Family Court to enforce the court's order. The Family Court has jurisdiction to reimburse the debtor for money paid to the credit card company and issue fines against the non-debtor spouse for failing to pay for the debt as ordered.
I touched on a similar issue in my recent blog post, linked below. Hopefully you find it helpful too.
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