Dividing Up Debt, Part 3

This is the last in a series of articles about how debt is handled in divorces in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

No matter where your divorce case is heard, the divorce court cannot order the creditor to collect from one spouse rather than the other.  That is because your creditor is not a party to your divorce case and the court has no jurisdiction over them.

What if the divorce court orders husband to pay a joint debt and he subsequently files bankruptcy and receives a discharge barring the creditor from collecting from him?

The joint creditor will turn to the former wife to collect.  Upon payment, the former wife will have a claim against her ex-husband for indemnification under the divorce court’s order.  That claim is not dischargeable in bankruptcy.  11 U.S.C. Sec. 523(15).