Debt Incurred During Separation; No Sep Agreement



I’ve been separated (living apart) from my wife for 9 months. Long story short, she won’t sign the separation agreement presented to her. We were only married 5 months. No joint bank accounts, credit cards, or debt. House was purchased long before I met her, never put in her name. I split all old joint accounts in half and gave her the money. I doubt she will sign divorce papers, but I also think it would cost her more to challenge the divorce than she could ever get from me. (I have a mortgage and student load debt - plus the lawyers I have talked to say alimony is very very unlikely to be granted her).

I’ve been driving a 1988 Chevy for a long time (been in the family since new). It’s on its last legs and a money pit. I need to get something new soon. Should I have any concerns about taking out a car loan? I will put very little cash down, but any I do put down I can clearly show was earned after separation. What about perceptions of the judge when I file? Will be buying a new car post-separation have any affect? I’d like to buy a quality car that last a long time.

Thank you.
29 years old


If you have exposure to an alimony obligation, you should attempt to keep your expenses as close to what they were during the marriage. The court will not look kindly on your increased standard of living and corresponding decrease in ability to pay support. If you do not believe that she is eligible to receive alimony, and you have been separated for 9 months and she has not yet filed, this is likely not a valid concern.

If you are able to pay for the new car with separate assets and keep the debt separate, it should have impact on your equitable distribution case.