Failing to settle your debts after divorce can have serious effects on your life. It can lower your credit rating and cost you money (in terms of legal fees) when your spouse files an order to show cause for contempt. If you think you can live with these, then you should know that they are the worst consequences you can experience. In the worst case scenario, failing to settle your marital debts may make you:
Incur Lawsuit Expenses
Creditors have the right to sue you if you refuse to settle their debts. In fact, they may come after you even if the divorce court assigned the debt to your former spouse during debt division. The creditors may file individual lawsuits, in different courts, or they may file a joint lawsuit to force you to pay the debts. Just imagine how many resources you may use in defending yourself from these lawsuits.
Send You to Jail
People don't usually get sent to jail if they fail to settle debts. Therefore, the family court will not sentence you to jail time if you fail to settle your part of the debts as enshrined in the divorce decree. However, there is another associated route that may make you land in jail.
A divorce judgment is a court order. Failure to adhere to the instructions is tantamount to being in contempt of the court. Sure, you may be given a second chance for payment with the warning that you may be sentenced to jail if you fail to make the payments again. If you fail to heed this second warning, and you don't have a legitimate reason for it, then you can easily be sent to jail.
Lose Your Property
What if you don't mind going to jail? Perhaps you are feeling vengeful and don't mind getting into any difficulty as long as your ex-partner can "feel the pain." Well, jail time might not threaten you much, but there are still ways the court may get to you.
For example, the court may enforce the judgment by seizing your property. For this to happen, your ex-spouse's attorney needs to petition the court for such an order. If the court agrees, then a custodian/receiver will be appointed to take charge of the seized property, sell it and settle the relevant debts.
After considering all these potential issues, it's much better to pay your marital debts than to wait for the consequences. However, in cases where you cannot genuinely afford to pay the debts, it's best to take precautions before the creditors start the legal proceedings against you. Consult your lawyer to help you determine what you can do, for example, you may be able to modify the existing order to make it more bearable. To learn more, contact a law firm like Topalian & Associates.Share
11 March 2016
While I took a few business classes in college, I left early to start my own business. I thought I had the knowledge I needed to become a great business owner and was eager to start my business. Soon, I had a new business that was actually performing pretty well in sales. Unfortunately, I hadn't taken any law courses in college, and I soon realized I made a few mistakes when starting my business that could cause me some legal trouble. Thankfully, a great business lawyer helped me correct my mistakes before I had any legal problems, but I then decided to take those business law courses. I want to help business owners and anyone else who would like to learn more about the law by starting a blog where I will share what I have learned and will continue to learn. I hope I can help you!