How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26492
Experience:  Lawyer
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My wife lost a 2009 divorce judgement for lawyer fees in Washington

This answer was rated:

My wife lost a 2009 divorce judgement for lawyer fees in Washington because she did appear because she was not notified. She moved to Texas and we were married in Feb. 2011. 14 days ago she was served by the deputy for the judgement amount plus 12% interest each year amounting to about $3200. We bought a house in Jan 2012 and she is on the title and we filed for homestead this month. She has no income as she is a stay at home mother. My questions are:
1. Since this judgement debt was prior to marriage and Texas is a community property state can they come after my assets? Joint bank account with only my payroll coming into every two weeks.
2. From what I know they can not garnish my wages in Texas (Texas company) and she has no income. Her assets since marriage are only clothes and the house which she is on the title for.
3. Can her ex-husband put lien on the house?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

1. They cannot come after your assets. However, any money in a bank account with both your name on it is legally considered the property of both spouses. They can take any money in a bank account with your wife's name on it, even if you are the one who deposited the money. Texas does have a statute that allows spouses to agree that any property acquired by one spouse remains the sole and separate property of that spouse and is not community property. Tex. Family Code, Section 4.103. If you had a prenuptial agreement that said as much, that could help protect some of your assets. The agreement would only apply to property acquired after it is signed.

2. They could not garnish your wages in any state, because the judgment is not against you. But you are correct that Texas law does not allow garnishment in most cases.

3. No. Tex. Prop. Code, Section 41.001 does not allow seizure of a person's home to pay any debts that weren't secured by a lien on the real estate (like mortgages).

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Point #

1. So if I take her name off of the checking and savings account or take money out of the and put it under my name only would this stop the bank account levy?

3. true, homes are exempt from seizure but can a lien be placed on the house and if in the future the home is sold would some of the proceeds be taken to satisfy the judgement. (ex-husband is using this judgement to fund custody case in california that we filed, that is why I would like to fight this).

3a. does the 12% interest still accumulate until payment is made to her ex-husband? This would be in reference to the lien on the home because if the money is not paid will the initerest penalty come into effect i we sell the home.

A bank usually will not remove a signer's name from an account without closing it and opening a new one, but you would have the ability to open a new account in only your name.

I'm sorry. Yes, they can file a lien. It's good for ten years. But they can't foreclose it.

The interest likely does continue until the debt is paid, but read the court documents. If your wife doesn't have them, she should be able to get a copy from the court. Check to see if the judgment includes post-judgment interest. If it does, the interest accrues until the judgment is paid or expires. A Washington judgment is good for ten years and can be renewed.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX like my options are:


1. negotiate with his attorney and maybe offer 50 cents on the dollar to start out with and move up from there. I'm sure he will have to check with his client and the client will say no!

2. Hide the money in accounts and don't allow for a tax refund in the future therefore prolonging him from getting the monies and being able to have additional monies for his attorney to fight us in the custody and visitation case in california.

or 3. pay the total judgement and put it behind me.


Is this a fair assessment on my part?


This will be the last question and ill rate after that. thanks for all your help.

If the judgment ordered her to pay the attorney, not the client, the attorney may have the authority to work with you (if he's collecting his own fees). Otherwise, it sounds like you have a good understanding of the options that may exist in this situation. The only other option is for your wife to investigate getting a part-time job to pay the judgment. I can think of several reasons you may not want to do that, and I understand, but it does exist as a possibility, especially if the children are in school. I'm not sure how old they are.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26492
Experience: Lawyer
Lucy, Esq. and 11 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan

Meet The Experts:

  • Tina



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • Ely's Avatar


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • JPEsq's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • FiveStarLaw's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.

Related Legal Questions