The laws regarding property division in a divorce are complex. While most people think of these laws as pertaining only to assets, they also pertain to the division of debt because creditors won’t go away simply because a couple divorces. Each debt is usually assigned to one party so that things are as simple as possible.

Maryland residents might not have thought about what could happen if your ex passes away prior to paying off the debts covered in the divorce agreement. As unpleasant as that thought might be, it is one that should be considered.

There is a possibility that a creditor could come after you for the money still owed if your ex died prior to paying off a bill. While Maryland isn’t a community property state, the creditor might come after you if your name was on the debt prior to the divorce.

Some people might be wondering why the creditor can come after you when the divorce settlement assigned the debt to your ex. The answer is actually very simple. The divorce settlement is an agreement filed with the court that is between you and your ex. The creditor didn’t agree to the debt assignment in the divorce, so you might still be held liable for the debt.

Those who are going through a divorce should make sure that they take all steps possible to protect themselves from anything that could go wrong during or after the divorce. Knowing the laws and determining how to apply those to your case might help you to protect your interests.

Source: CNN Money, “Your dead ex-spouse’s debt can become your problem” Jeanne Sahadi, Jun. 25, 2014