Husband paying for inlaws debt on joint card

The only debt that is divided in a property distribution trial is the debt incurred for the “benefit of the marriage”. There is no case law directly on point regarding your situation but I can easily imagine a judge finding that the debt was not for the benefit of the marriage. An alientation action against the in-laws would not likely be successful.

Good luck.

Lee S. Rosen
Board Certified Family Law Specialist
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

My inlaws have lived in my house since May of 2000. I thought we were helping them to pay off their own debt by decreasing their living expenses. As a result, they have never paid rent, but do buy most of the food. The plan my husband had presented to me was that once they were financially solvent again, they would move out and enjoy the rest of their retirement. Recently, things have not been going so well in the home between my inlaws and myself, with them putting my husband in the middle. My husband has already told me he will not choose between “them” or “me”. He states that I will have to go if I am not happy. The final straw has been that three months ago my husband paid off their credit card without my knowledge using one of my credit card checks. He is an authorized user but the account was opened by me and his name is not on the bill. The amount transferred was approx. $8,000.00!!! My question is two part. First, can I be expected to be responsible for this debt? Second, can action be taken against my inlaws future earnings for alienation of affection should I become divorced as a result of the emotional situation they are creating in my once happy and peaceful home? (My father-in-law is supposed to be getting about $4,000.00 in a workman’s compensation settlement within the next few months, not to mention monthly retirement income from both of them.) My thoughts are that if I am going to be forced into divorce and to leave the home that I love in order to maintain peace of mind, then they should not be getting a free ride off me ie: $8,000.00 paid debt.

Heather A. Hall