Hello there Cyndy --
I truly wish that I could tell you that the bank(s) and any other creditor(s) that are the subject of this divorce court order must obey the court order and remove your name from any and all accounts that have to do with your ex and/or the time period that you were together with him (either before, during or after the marriage). However, I cannot tell you that because it is not accurate in CA law and the law of every other state. You see, the divorce court does not have any jurisdiction over the creditors and lenders/banks that you are dealing with because they were not and never will be a party to the action. The court order that you received is enforceable against your estranged spouse and if he does not comply with the court order then you must file a motion for contempt of court and bring him back in front of the judge again -- who at that point has the power to fine him heavily and to put him in jail until he complies with the court orders to either pay off or refinance the debts and get your name off of all of the credit and any other debt indicated by the court. Given the fact that he is extremely well off, the divorce court or family law judge who hears any such application for a motion for contempt will not be amused by the fact that he has chosen to be stubborn and is instead wasting the time and resources of the court by failing to obey the court order -- and he could be jailed until he agrees to obey the court order (I have seen men and women signing the documents prepared by the creditors and their attorneys while sitting in jail for contempt and the judge will not order the release until he/she is satisfied that the ex has put the wheels in motion to take care of these matters). While I realize that this is not the answer that you wanted to hear and I agree with you that it would be a much simpler process to force the creditors and/or lenders/banks to comply with the court order, but my answer to you is legally correct and it would be unprofessional of me to lie to you or try to gloss things over in order to get you to be pleased with the answer and this website. The fact is that I actually answer this same question several times a year for women and men left in these same types of financial constraints by their divorce decree (and in many instances the spouse who is ordered to pay off or refinance the debt in order to remove the name of the ex spouse simply do not have the finances or the credit rating to do so and they end up having to borrow money and enter into additional loans to take care of these matters before the court will cancel the motion for contempt application made by the other spouse). While you are certainly within your rights to try to negotiate with the creditors/lenders/banks holding this debt in your name, many will simply not respond and continue to send you collection letters and the ones who do respond will inform you of what I have told you here -- that they were not a party to the divorce action and that both spouses signed the original contracts with their company, so unless or until the debt is refinanced by one spouse or the other or paid off completely, both parties to the original contract (or any party to the original contract) is still responsible for the debt to them.
While your divorce decree states clearly that he will have to pay for any lawyers' fees that you are charged to pursue him for these matters in the event he does not pay as stated in the contract -- you can certainly avoid hiring an attorney and complete the Motion for Contempt paperwork yourself and then file the paperwork at the clerk's office of the family court and arranging to set a date for a hearing in front of the court on these issues. You can get the appropriate forms at the clerks office of the family court --the official name of the form and the hearing on these matters is an Order to Show Cause (OSC) for Contempt and the Form is numbered FL 410 and here is a link to that form with instructions -- http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fl410.pdf (if you have difficulties using the link then please copy and paste the web address into your browser and it should come up without any problems).
I hope that this information helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Can you please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below so I will be paid for my time. I am paid NOTHING unless you press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below. I truly wish I could have given you an instantaneous way to take care of this situation without going back to court, but such a solution does not exist. I hope that you will keep in mind that I can only tell you the legal truth of the matter when choosing a rating button below and also keep in mind that you are upset with the legal system and your ex-spouse. Pressing a positive rating below will not cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as a trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU VERY MUCH -MARY
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).