When couples get divorced, they receive a divorce decree. The divorce decree is the final decision of the court regarding how affairs will be managed post-divorce. In some divorces there is debt to be divided. In addition to dividing the debt, some decrees will specifically forbid either party from filing bankruptcy due to the fact that the divorcing parties’ credit reports will both end up negatively affected. If your ex files for bankruptcy in contempt of the divorce decree you have a couple options.
- You can contact a divorce attorney to force your ex to pay on the debt they were assigned. Agreeing through a divorce that one party will be responsible for a debt is one of the few things you can do to make a debt non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. Finalizing the divorce puts this obligation to pay in play. The divorce agreement acts as a judgment from one spouse to the other to be used if necessary. He cannot eliminate his obligation to pay this debt through bankruptcy (unless you also file for bankruptcy). Having said that, the creditors don’t care what the divorce decree says. You would need to get a Family Law attorney and go back to court in order to enforce the divorce agreement. You may not have the money to pay for a divorce attorney to start this fight.
- You can contact a bankruptcy attorney and file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will negatively affect your credit, but it will remove your obligation to pay the debt that your ex was supposed to cover according to the divorce decree. It will also provide you with a fresh start financially. You can start rebuilding your credit immediately after receiving your discharge. Most find that the process of repairing their credit is faster than they expected.
Justice, while available, seems to never come free. You may be in the right, but it could be more cost effective for you to simply obtain bankruptcy protection for yourself as well.
If you have more questions regarding southern California bankruptcy court and whether or not filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after divorce would be the most efficient way to obtain justice, get in touch with Westgate Law.