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Spousal Support and Credit Card Debt

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Mark Cappel
UpdatedMay 16, 2024

I am an authorized user on my ex-spouse's credit cards. He is threatening to withhold spousal support because I made charges on his credit cards.

I went through a divorce about 2 1/2 years ago. When my ex-husband and I divorced we still had several credit cards in both of our names. I got him taken off my cards as an authorized user, but he did not remove me off his cards where I was an authorized user. I have been using the cards now and then and he is now upset because they are showing up on his credit report. I tried calling the credit card companies to get them switched into my name but they refused because he was the primary card holder. He is now threatening to withhold my spousal support because of these debts. Do you know if legally he can do this or would he have to take me to court to be able to withhold payments? The spousal support payments are set up thru the State of AZ on a monthly basis. Any information you have would be appreciated. Thanks.

The essence of your facts are that you are divorced and that your ex-spouse's negligence left you as an authorized user on several credit card accounts. Inexplicably, you made charges on the cards, and apparently did not reimburse your ex-spouse for the charges. Your ex-spouse is now threatening to withhold spousal support payments until the debts are paid.

I am not aware how Arizona law applies in this situation. Consult with attorney in your state to learn what your rights are in this situation.

If you have not already, cut up the cards in question so that you do not make charges on these accounts in the future. Just because you were an authorized user of the accounts does not mean you can incur debt in your ex-spouse's name without consequence. It is clear you are aware of this fact because you removed your ex-spouse as an authorized user on your accounts.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

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1 Comments

KKen, Apr, 2012
Spousal support and child support can never -- yes, never -- be unilaterally modified absent a court order. This holds true no matter which state you are in. Should your ex-spouse withhold the court-ordered support or unilaterally modify the amount downward, you will need to go back into family court and make them aware.Be advised, though, that this may backfire. The judge or hearing examiner may find that your spousal support, but never child support, should be reduced because of your extra "income." That does not mean, however, that you get a free ride. Your ex-spouse can most certainly sue you and get a judgment against you for the amounts you charged on his account. In fact, depending on the wording in your divorce decree, he may be able to have you prosecuted or held in contempt of court for unauthorized use of a financial account / larceny even though he was negligent in not removing you from the account.