Student Loans


#1

My back history is in my previous posts if you need more clarity.

When the Property & Settlement Agreement was written and the divorce was finalized in 2006, X had $31,911.25 in student loans that was declared marital debt. The loans are in X’s name, but since they were used for other purposes, it got characterized as marital debt:

                   ".....college loans for wife in the amount of $31,911.25...., these bills shall be a joint obligation of the parties....Each party shall be 
                    responsible  for their 50% share and shall hold the other party harmless with regard to same.  Neither party shall incur any     
                    additional expenses on these debts or any other debt to hold the other party liable for same.  The parties acknowledge that the college loans in 
                    the wife's name are joint, as a result of the fact the wife received grants & aids for these loans, that were not utilized by the parties to pay off 
                    the loan as intended, but were utilized for other purposes."

She has never submitted any documentation for the loans neither after the divorce in 2006, nor the re-calculation in 2008 when the case transferred from NC from NJ.

She now claims that the loans are in default status, cannot be deferred any longer, and the amount now is in excess of $80,000. She claims her wages are now being garnished at $400/month, and wants us to pay half. She refuses to provide any documentation substantiating her claims as to the current amount, the garnishment, etc. She refuses to provide the account details of the loan so we may pay the loan provider directly as opposed to giving her money personally. We have told her we will help pay if she provides us with the account details of the loan so we may pay the provider directly.

A. Because she incurred more debt by having the loan deferred,
(and I can only speculate that she did not pay the interest during the deferment, or how else did the amount of the loan almost triple?)
has never provided documentation regarding same, are we liable for half of $31,911.25 or $80,000+?

B. Can we be held in contempt of the Order because we have not helped pay the loans, even though we could not pay an expense where
invoice/documentation was not submitted?

She has lied in the past and told her attorney we “told her [we] could not afford to help pay, so she didn’t press the issue.” This is a falsehood since she has never brought it up until now. Obviously, the adversary will not believe us.

She called and wants to “discuss” making changes to the PSA because “certain things are no longer applicable.” We certainly would not sign anything without council, but we have the feeling that she’s trying to trap us into something with this or the unpaid medical expenses of the minor children (see previous posts for that clusterfudge).

Any help is appreciated.
Please & thank you as always!


#2

Would seem that you have some obligation to perform under the order, even if she was not complying with giving you documentation, and you might should have addressed that issue a long time ago before it got out of control. She may also be in contempt of the order for incurring additional debt, but I’m not sure if this is true if the debt is really only in her name.

This is one of those circumstances where a consultation would be appropriate. We could review the entire order, discuss in detail what has occurred since 2006 (payment, nonpayment, disclosure of information, etc.) to determine what liability you may have and how to best proceed.