Ex-Husband in Divorce Case Challenges Trial Court’s Ruling on Marital Credit Card Debt

In a recent case before an appeals court in Texas, the plaintiff in a divorce case asked for a new decision regarding the credit card debt that the lower court directed him to pay. Originally, the lower court issued an order divorcing the plaintiff and defendant, and part of that decision decided that both parties were responsible for the debt accrued during the marriage. On appeal, the plaintiff took issue with this ruling, but the higher court ultimately kept the lower court’s decision in place.

Facts of the Case

According to the decision, the plaintiff and defendant in this case separated in early 2020, and the husband filed for divorce about a month later. While working out the issues in their divorce, the parties were able to agree over certain matters, such as custody of their three kids. They were unable to agree, however, on how to divide the credit card debt that they had accrued during their marriage. They thus took the case to trial and asked the court to decide who was responsible for paying off this debt.

After trial, the court decided that the husband, the plaintiff, would be responsible for 60% of the debt, while the defendant, the wife, would be responsible for the other 40%. Disagreeing with the court’s ruling, the plaintiff appealed.

The Decision

On appeal, the plaintiff argued that he should not be responsible for 60% of the debt in the parties’ names. According to him, the defendant had spent money unnecessarily by ordering things from Amazon, and her extravagant spending was the reason for the debt. According to the defendant, however, she was making purchases to support her and her children on a low salary, and she had no other choice but put money on her credit cards.

Ultimately, the higher court reviewed the record and decided it agreed with the lower court’s decision. The defendant was an elementary school teacher, while the plaintiff was an engineer, and it thus made sense that the plaintiff would pay more of the debt than the defendant. Also, said the court, the defendant was justifiably spending money to support the parties’ children, and therefore both individuals should be responsible for paying off the debt.

The lower court’s decision was affirmed, and the plaintiff remained responsible for paying off 60% of the debt at issue.

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