Dealing with Credit Card Debts in a Texas Divorce

 The first thing people worry about when they start thinking about divorce is their children and their property. The children, the house, the cars, the money and other properties are things people think about the most when they’re on the verge of getting a  Texas divorce. If you happen to be in the same situation, these are subjects you need to seriously think about. Were there any debts incurred during your marriage? How seriously have you contemplated about the financial issues and responsibilities you have during your marriage?

If you think that only the property and assets are divided when a divorce happens, you’ll have to think again. Debt is just as important as retirement accounts and properties and it is divided between the couple as well. The amount of responsibility each spouse needs to take at the time of the divorce for the debts incurred during the marriage is extremely important.

Preparing for Debt in Your Divorce

One of the most common debts in a marriage that are strongly debated about by both parties are credit card debts. When marital debts are divided, they can be handed to either of the spouses or both. Credit cards are a different matter. If you have applied for a credit card that bears your name and your spouse’s name during the duration of your marriage, none of you can be freed from the liability for the future usage of the card.

It may have not happened to you, but it is something to be careful about.

A lot of clients I came across with complain about how credit card companies and debt collection companies keep hounding them to pay off debts and credit card balances that they had nothing to do with. This is really a horrible situation because your spouse could be using the credit all he/she wants and you will be the one burdened with the payments. It can really be frustrating when you’re trying to move on and stuff like this would pull you back to your ex’s world.

Types of Credit Card Debts You May Face After Your Texas Divorce

  • Unsecured Credit Card Debts

Unsecured credit cards are the ones granted (or offered) by credit card companies and banks without asking for a collateral. Most of the credit cards in America belong to this category – it doesn’t matter if it was a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. Basically, when you apply for such credit card type, they review your profile and they decide that you are trustworthy enough then they grant you the ‘credit’ that is proportional to the amount of trust they have in you. This trust is their belief that you will pay your debts, on time at that.

When the account is unsecured and you failed to pay on time, the bank or credit card company will add interest on your balance and it might even be subject to a whole lot of other fees. The creditor cannot take any of your properties to pay for your credit card debts nor use it as a collateral. They can only do this when the proper lawsuit is filed and the Court grants them such authority.

In Texas, the laws that covered credit card debts are quite different. Your home and personal property are protected from being used as collateral. Creditors can’t attach a ‘lien’ to your home. Though it’s mostly a good thing to be protected from debt collectors this way, it can also be a bad thing. This is because your debt (or your ex-spouse’s) will just continue to grow and it might be too late by the time you’d want to take some action.

  • Secured Credit Card Debts 

On the other side of that nightmare are secured credit card debts. An example of this credit card type is when you are granted a credit card connected to your bank account. Your bank account will be the collateral for this type of card. Because of this, your bank may require you to keep a minimum balance in your account or else they would freeze the secured credit card. The good thing about this method is that if you will keep your credit card account in good shape, the maintaining balance required in your bank account will also decrease significantly. There are also retail stores that offer this kind of credit card. In the event that you won’t be able to pay for your credit card debts, the items can be taken back by the merchant.


Credit card debts and debts in general are one of the most complicated things you can encounter in a Texas divorce or post-divorce. It is best to hire a skilled Texas divorce attorney to help protect yourself from the consequences that may arise from these debts. An experienced Texas family law attorney will be able to help you make sure that you won’t have to pay credit card debts from purchases that you did not make.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at