Divorce Decree or Creditors
Whenever there is a divorce there is a divorce decree put together by the attorneys and the court which states how certain matters such as the payment of debts and child support is supposed to be handled. A divorce decree is the final order which signals the termination of the marriage. A divorce decree will also include things such as visitation rights, division of property, custody and payments of alimony.
A man and wife can have debts together and the divorce decree may state that the man should pay all the credit cards and the car even though these are joint accounts. The divorce decree may also state that the woman should make the house payments since she will be living there, even though the mortgage deed and note is in both names.
Do creditors agree and go along with these agreements? As long as the payments are being made on time there is no problem or complaint from the creditor. If the payments fall behind the creditor will not abide by the arrangements set forth in the divorce decree. However signed the note, contract or legally binding contract is who the creditor will contact about the payments. If the ex-husband signed the contract they will contact and if they get no response they will contact the ex-wife as well.
A lot of people will bring up the fact that they have a divorce decree which states they do not have to pay. You may have to seek other remedies to get your ex spouse to live up to the terms and agreements of the divorce decree but the creditors don’t care what the divorce decree says.
So if you are living in a house and your ex-spouse is making the payments based on the divorce decree the creditor will contact both of you for payments if you both signed the mortgage. Another thing to note is the fact that the creditor could foreclose on the home if no one makes the payments. When things of this nature happen you should be prepared to make payments on debts which fall past due if you signed even if the decree states that a ex-spouse is supposed to pay. When debts fall past due they will still reflect on your credit file. This could affect your ability to purchase goods and services in the future. You can always go back and try to collect the money from your ex-spouse even though you may not be successful. It’s a good idea to keep you receipts and cancelled checks in case you need them later.
If there is any confusion about the how to handle such a situation you should seek legal counsel or speak with your divorce attorney.