Consumer Myth #5 – A divorce decree can remove a spouse’s liability from joint liability such as a mortgage, car payment or credit card account.

This is not true unless the mortgage company, car finance company or credit card company is a named party to your divorce case. Before the divorce was filed, you had a contract with the mortgage company, car finance company and credit card company. A divorce decree cannot change either of those contracts without the permission of the mortgage company, car finance company or credit card company. The divorce decree often splits responsibility for certain debts but it cannot override the existing contracts. For credit cards which are a joint liability, or one party with an authorized user, a party may be removed from the credit card. Mortgages and car finance companies require the permission of that company to remove one party from responsibility.