Is a spouse liable for the credit card debt of the other in North Carolina?

Full Question:

Credit card company has a court order against my wife to repay over $30,000.00 in credit card debt, a card she took out in her name only. My question is can they seize my bank accounts and cars that are in my name only?
07/26/2011   |   Category: Debts and Credit   |   State: North Carolina   |   #25235

Answer:

Typically, a spouse is not legally responsible to pay for another spouse's debts. Exceptions would be if the other spouse agreed to be legally obligated for such a debt unless they specifically agree to be or the couple resides in a community property state (North Carolina is not a community property state).

Also, a spouse may be held liable in some states for bills that are necessary for the maintenance of the household known as the (the "doctrine of necessaries"). North Carolina has adopted this doctrine. Depending on the nature of the debt, a court may have to decide if the spouse's debt is a family expense. If it is, the innocent spouse can be held liable. If a judgment is obtained by a creditor, that spouse's wages can be garnished and other non-exempt assets seized.