Jump to Navigation

Don't take on debts that aren't yours after divorce

Divorce can be an expensive undertaking, and can be made more so if one spouse is forced to pay off debts that were incurred by the other spouse during the marriage.

Debts run up during a marriage can be owed jointly, and courts can mandate that one spouse shoulders all or part of the burden of the debts. However, one certified divorce financial analyst strongly urges spouses not to pay off debts in collection that they do not owe. Doing so puts a blemish on the credit report, where it will languish for seven years, negatively affecting a divorced person's credit rating.

To protect your future financial prospects, it is imperative that you get these collections taken off of your credit report. Doing so requires proving that those debts were assigned to your ex by the courts. Collection agencies have little recourse to argue that you are the one responsible for repayment under those circumstances.

This is not to say that they can't pursue it, but it involves more work, e.g., taking the matter up in the court, typically in front f the judge who assigned responsibility to your ex. The trouble and the likelihood of losing makes creditors more inclined to reach a compromise with you.

When your ex hasn't paid an assigned debt, you can negotiate with creditors by agreeing to pay it off if they will give you a guarantee, in writing, that this black mark on your credit will be removed completely and not simply noted that it was paid off.

With that in hand, you can return to court and show the order mandating payment by your ex. The court then can issue a judgment that allows you to garnish wages or encumber property until your ex repays you.

When dividing up assets and debts in divorce, work closely with your family law attorney to make sure that the division is truly equitable.

Source: Woman's Divorce, "Handling Divorce Debt," Adryenn Neuenburg, accessed July 22, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact our team of legal professionals today:

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

Subscribe to this blog’s feed

Office Location

Local: 413-306-3675 
Toll Free: 888-385-1183

Johnson, Sclafani & Moriarty, Attorneys at Law
776 Westfield Street
West Springfield, MA 01089

West Springfield Law Office Map

FindLaw Network