More than likley if he gets a attorney you will need to get one, think about you against a attorney who you think will win(who knows the LAW better)but wait before you get one because he might be trying to scare you because if he actually get one they will serve you with papers then you will have enough time to get you a lawyer. but before he does that send him a reasonable proposal certified mail.
Thanks for your reply. I like the reasonable proposal idea. He did, though, already decline mediation, even though it’s a fraction of what an attorney costs for a divorce.
Any idea about the questions I had asked in my original post? I mean, I’m not going to go to court me against an attorney, but CAN he get me for more money just to make it “worth his while?” The situation being what it is, and taking into account division of marital property, he’s going to go INTO DEBT to hire an attorney to make me pay half the credit card (that is, IF they even win that). Would an attorney really take on his case, knowing that he stands to LOSE money overall?
Also, he has bullied and physically and mentally intimidated me, not to mention locked me out of the apartment when my name was on the lease and the utilities were in my name AND thrown away my mail - will any of that matter in court?
On the surface, it sounds like the debt, (credit card) happened before you were married. He sold the mobile home while you were married and the money was invested into the marrage. You can never really tell what the judges are going to do, but it sounds like you may be clear of his debt since he brought it into the marrage. Any debt on the card after the marrage would be different.
If you are a dependent spouse and you didn’t conduct any marital misconduct, (an affair) you would be entitled to alimony. Why don’t you scrap some money together and get an attorney. Shop around, they are not all really expensive.
Concerned2, wow! Thanks again for your helpful post. It’s comforting news. Not to mention, darn encouraging! I appreciate it…and keep you posted. Thank you again!
Sorry for the delay in responding. We are behind on responding to the inquiries.
The debt according to the credit card company is his debt, and they will not seek repayment from you.
In terms of Equitable Distribution, any credit card that either of you used during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the card, would be characterized, at least in part, a marital debt. You would each presumably be responsible for 50%.
You both came to the marriage with debt, his credit card and your debt, paid by his separate property asset. This is confusing, but relevant for how to divide the remaining debt. It sounds like his credit card would be characterized as at least part marital if he continued to use it during marriage. So the above statement would apply to the debt amount incurred after the date of marriage. Meaning, he could certainly seek your contribution to pay off the debt incurred after the date of marriage.
Since you left him with 80% of the personal property, the value of that could be used to off set his claim. In either event, you are wise to seek mediation. If you hear from his attorney, request ED mediation. It is not likely his attorney would deny your request. Also, once you are contacted by his attorney, whether or not you get an agreement to mediate, be sure to seek a consultation from an attorney prior to agreeing to settlement or participating in mediation.
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I’ll make this as concise as possible.
- Dec 2003. Mack lives in a mobile home, still owes $10,000 on it.
- Mack meets Samantha and moves into her apartment but doesn’t help with bills and doesn’t put his name on the lease.
- Mack and Samantha get engaged and married on January 20, 2004. Macks adds name to the lease. Utilities stay in Samantha’s name.
- Mack gets a low-interest credit card - in HIS NAME ONLY - to buy the mobile home so he can sell it for the cash.
- Mack gives the cash to Samantha AFTER they get married so she can pay off her credit card bills, which she does.
- Turns out Mack ignores Samantha. Really ignores her. Doesn’t acknowledge her, doesn’t talk to her. And he turns out to be somewhat of a porn addict, so after months and months of joint marital counseling, Samantha tells Mack he needs to leave.
- Mack says he can’t afford it (not true).
- A month later, Samantha decides to leave since Mack stated he couldn’t afford it. She tells Mack she’s leaving, who doesn’t want her to go, but she can’t stand the emotional turmoil anymore, so she goes. She moves 1/4 mile away so she can be there for Mack’s son (9 yrs) if he needs anything. Mack and Samantha have no children together. It’s now June, 2005.
- They decide to divorce. No separation agreement yet.
9a. Mack refuses to transfer the utilities from Samantha’s name to his name, telling her that it would be too easy for her to leave if the utilities were in his name. Neither will he take Samantha’s name off the lease.
- Mack demands that Samantha pay half of his credit card bill ($10,000)
- Mack has always made more money than Samantha.
- Samantha holds that after all the emotional distress Mack put her through with ignoring her and being a porn addict, there’s no way she’s going to help him pay off the credit card.
- Samantha suggests they go to a mediator, but Mack declines. Tells Samantha several hours later that he’s contacted his attorney.
- Samantha panics. Big time.
Does Samantha really have to pay half HIS credit card? Mack only stands to gain $4000 or so from Samantha for “her share” of the credit card, and an attorney will most likely cost more than that - can Mack’s attorney get MORE out of Samantha to “make it worth his while”? Can Samantha counter with alimony, therefore negating the whole thing? Does Samantha have to spend $5000 on a lawyer to settle this?