Marital Debt Repayment


#1

When you go through the process of equitable distribution, the court will take into account all of your assets and debts. If you are paying more debt than she is, you will get credit for that, usually in the form of keeping more assets for yourself.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780

ROSEN.COM

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#2

Helena,

Thanks for your response. Perhaps I should offer a clarification. My former wife and I are already divorced. We did not go to court. Rather, we worked up a separation agreement on our own and had it notarized because neither of us could afford attorneys at the time and we were somewhat agreeable with one another.

Since we are past the date of divorce, my understanding is that it is too late to go through the process of equitable distribution. We decided how to split assets and have no current disagreement about how the assets were distributed. Nor does my ex wife disagree that half of our marital debt is her responsibility. She simply won’t pay anything toward it - leaving me with the option of paying the debts alone to protect my credit from further ruin, or doing nothing.

Can she be compelled to make payments on our debt? I know that there isn’t much she can do since about 80% of her total household income right now comes from my child support payments… but would a court order her to make some payments on the joint debt?


#3

If the contract deals with the credit cards, then the court will enforce the contract.

If the debt is in both names and is not dealt with in the Separation Agreement, you may be able to file an action asking that she pay half the debt. If the amount she would owe you is less than $5,000 you can sue her in small claims court.

If the debt is not in both names, I do not believe you would have a legal remedy at this point.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780

ROSEN.COM

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 only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#4

During our 12 years of marriage my ex had a spending habit. Even though I cut up our credit cards in the 2nd year of marriage, she was able to accumulate about $20,000 in unsecured debt. My name is on some of the accounts. I understand that these debts, whether my name is on it or not, is considered marital debt.

Isn’t it the case that my ex and I are supposed to split this debt evenly? I pay on the the debt but she does not. My credit was ruined as a result of her spending, and now I am stuck with the bills without any help from her. She does not work and lives off of the child support I send each month.

Can she be compelled through legal means to take responsibility for some of this marital debt? How do I get around it? Must I pay for everything all by myself if I want it gone?

Please advise.