Is a Person Liable for Credit Card Charges Forged by Their Spouse?

“Is a person liable for charges made by his or her spouse on a credit card, if the spouse signed their name on a credit card application without their knowledge or permission?”

This is an interesting question in that there can be a different answer depending on who is asking the question and why. Are you asking this as part of a divorce action? Divorce law will control. In most states, it doesn’t matter whose name the card is in; it could arguably be a marital debt and therefore could be divided or allocated according to the same rules as any other debt.

In many places, spouses can sign on behalf of each other – sort of a reflection of two people joined as one. If you’re asking from the perspective of not wanting to pay the credit card company, it is possible that you can sign an affidavit and offer proof to the company showing that you didn’t sign the application (such as your signature doesn’t match the one on the application), and you might avoid responsibility for the debt from the credit card company. However, in most cases, they’ll also charge your spouse criminally and require restitution (not to mention attorney fees, possible jail time, etc.). So if you’re still married and take that approach, you might not be for long.