I’m Finalizing My Divorce But Being Asked to Pay for Debts That Are Not Mine. – Dianne

“Dear Steve,

I am in the process of finalizing my divorce from my husband. In order to save money, we used a family friend, who technically represents him, not me. I have just received a copy of the divorce decree to review, and they bascially took all the credit cards and split them equally between us, with him being responsible for some and me for some. I should probably add that all of these credit cards are in his name, as he had a bit of a problem buying things that he couldn’t afford…part of the reson for our divorce. The issue I am having is that the goods that were purchased with some of these credit cards they want me to pay are in his posession. I certainly don’t mind paying for the one that I kept the goods for, but I am having a hard time justifying being responsible for things that I didn’t keep.

So, my question is this: Should I agree to the terms of the decree and just not pay the cards in question, and let them know that I’m disputing them? Or, would it be worth it for me in the long run to hire a lawyer to straighten this out? Or, if I do accept responsibility for that debt, but only pay $5 a month or so, can he come back and take legal action against me since I’m technically paying the debt? I’m desperate and have very little money, so I appreciate any advice you have.

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Dear Dianne,

Let’s say you enter into this agreement and stop paying at least the minimum. The creditors will go after him and he could go after you for violating the divorce agreement.

There is nothing saying that a equal division is fair for you and if you don’t think it is you should not sign that document. There is also no requirement for you to pay anything towards those debts in his name now until an agreement is reached. All the debts in his name, unless you live in a community property state, as his debts alone and creditors can’t look to you for payment, only him.

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It seems like you you simply stop paying anything towards the debts until you can come to a fair and reasonable division of debt and assets that it gives you some leverage.

Get a lawyer to represent your interests. The other party is not working for you.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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