Divorce and finances can be a messy mix. Often after a divorce one spouse is left cleaning up the financial mess made by the other. But what should you do when an ex-spouse maxes out a credit card that still has both of your names tied to it?

First of all, you need to find out what type of credit card account you had with your spouse. Was it a joint account, or were you (or your spouse) an authorized user only? If it was a joint credit card account, both of you will be legally responsible for repaying the debt. But if it was a credit card with you as the main account holder and the spouse as the authorized user, you will be solely responsible for the charges on the credit card–and vice-versa.

Here’s what you do…

Get your ex-spouse off of you credit card. If it is a credit card account where you are the main account holder and your ex-spouse is the authorized user, you can easily remove him/her by calling the credit card company and requesting the change. However, if you are joint account holders the credit card company will most likely refuse to remove one of you if there’s still a balance on the credit card; but you may be able to close the accounts. Both parities will still be responsible for repaying the charges on the credit card, even after it is closed.

Caution: If your ex-spouse files bankruptcy on your joint accounts the creditors may come after you for repayment.

If you are unable to pay your credit card debts (or other debts) accumulated during a marriage, you may be able to discharge the debts in bankruptcy. Contact a Dallas-Fort Worth bankruptcy attorney to discover your bankruptcy options.