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If the debt is joint, meaning resulting from filing a joint return, IRS will collect from whoever and whenever they can. Unfortunately IRS will not "split" the liability and only collect 50% from you and 50% from your spouse. If you cannot make the payments, you can call IRS and see if you can adjust it, but eventually you are both liable for the entire debt regardless who will pay it off.
Sorry, I wish I could give you more positive answer. If you plan to divorce before the debt is taken care of, make sure to include it in the divorce settlement. It will not stop IRS from collecting but you can try to resolve the issue in civil court if the spouse refuses to make payments as agreed.