Adult Children Shared Debt

by RIchard
(Maryland, USA)

Hello -- If I have an unused credit card and bank account with an adult son, does that imply that I could be liable for another debt like a lawsuit?

Reply from


You are equally responsible for any joint debt. However, the fact that you have a bank account and an unused credit card shouldn't mean you can be sued for his individual debts. Perhaps we don't understand your question or situation. Please use the comments link below to elaborate.

Comments for Adult Children Shared Debt

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 10, 2011
More Info
by: RIchard

Thank you for your response and for clarification. My question in a different way -- If I have a joint account (checking or charge card) with my adult son and a liability occurs outside of that account (a lawsuit for example).

Can a court extrapolate that if I am accountable for the joint account liabilities I am also accountable for any liabilities my son may incur on his own in any transaction he is involved with whether it is associated with our shared account or not?

The reason I ask is as he grows older I would like to share a checking account with him forever.

Thank you

Reply from

If we understand your question correctly, then you are wondering whether the money you have in a joint account with your son could be at risk if something happened individually to one of you - for example, you or he files for bankruptcy or you or he are sued.

Yes, there is a potential risk there. Just because the money is in a joint account that doesn't protect it automatically from creditors (including those who get a judgment after a lawsuit.)

You'll have to consult with an attorney, though, to find out specifically what joint assets may be at risk in the event either of these things happened because It depends on what assets are exempt in your state.

Also keep in mind that if you do share a joint account with your son, he has complete access to all the money in that account. Only you can evaluate whether that's a safe situation.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Learn how debt collection laws can help you!
This website does not provide legal advice.
All information is for educational purposes only.
Copyright 2007 - 2021 by Mary Reed and Gerri Detweiler.
All rights reserved..
Read our Privacy Policy here. Do not sell my information.