Breach of Separation Agreement


#1

Hi,

My ex-husband and I have been divorced for nearly 2 years, and we have a separation agreement that we signed and had notarized shortly after we separated in 2008. When we separated, we split our debt in a manner that seemed logical at the time, but when thinking about a separation agreement, we realized that we should split debt evenly. My ex-husband had already assumed a portion of the debt, and we later agreed upon how to divide the remaining debt more evenly. We agreed that this remaining portion for which my ex-husband is responsible would be carried by me. (I should note that this is credit card debt, and, in the scheme of things, isn’t a huge amount of money.) In our agreement, the debt is held by me and interest is applied at the same rate as the credit card. The deadline for paying the remaining debt balance was 2 years after separation, which was July 2010. This debt is now approaching 1-year past due. I have contacted my ex-husband through email and mail, asking that he pay the remaining balance as soon as possible. In each communication, I remind him of the agreement (citing the section) and of the balance (which has increased nearly $400 since the beginning of our separation). I will be attempting my final contact at the end of this month, and will be contacting him through every means available–all email addresses, his home address, and his parents’ address. If this doesn’t work, I believe that I have no choice but to file suit in small claims court for breach of contract. I have two questions. Is filing suit in small claims court the correct method for collecting on this debt (the total amount for suit would be under $5,000)? I no longer live in North Carolina, and to go to court for this, I would need to fly to NC, stay in a hotel, and take time off of work (using 8 or more hours of paid time off). Can I include these expenses/loses (damages?) in the small claims suit?
Thank you.


#2

I suggest you file in civil district court for the breach, and seek attorney’s fees as well if your agreement provides for the same in the event of breach.