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Law Pro
Law Pro, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 24870
Experience:  20 years practicing family law from divorce, custody, support, alimony to equitable distribution
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My ex wife took out a consolidation loan to pay off our credit

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My ex wife took out a consolidation loan to pay off our credit card debt before we got married. (The loan is in her name as it was based on her higher income.) I am paying her back what I can afford each month but cannot pay half the loan payment and support myself and my daughter. Am I withing my legal right and can she sue me to pay more than i can afford?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 7 years ago.

This was a loan before the marriage - correct?


How long ago did you get a divorce?


Was this debt part of a marriage settlement agreement in the divorce?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes the loan was taken out before the marriage. We signed the divorce papers in mid-july 2009 so it is not yet final. We were only married for a little less than a year.
My ex-wife created and filed divorce papers with legal zoom in which we agreed that I owe her a lump sum of $25,000.00 for this said loan. We never agreed on a payment schedule or factored in interest. As I said, I have been making payments each month but she is asking for more than I can afford to give. Remember, she took out this loan (I was unemployed at the time) based on her ability to pay it back.
I will certainly pay what I owe but need to support myself and my daughter in the interim.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 7 years ago.

That she took out the loan herself is irrelevant - the relevant part is that it is marital debt that you are partially responsible for.


What she could do is forego suing you but bring a motion before the family court judge to mandate that you make payments.


In reality, this is a marital debt and should be decided by the family court judge as to whom owes how much of the debt and how the debt will be paid.


Then, if she gets a court order for you to pay a certain amount and she to pay a certain amount - then if either do not pay that amount - they can be brought before the court on contempt of court order and a request for sanctions be levied against them.


Too, the court realizes that they can't get blood from a stone - that you can only pay what you can afford. However, the court will make the determination as to what you can afford and spread those payments out. Clearly, the court also has to take into consideration what the loan payments are and whose debt made up a majority of the loan.


So, my advice to you would be to try and negotiate a settlement with her so as not to end up in family court before a judge and to draft an agreement reflecting what your agreement is - then everyone sign it and adhere to it.


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