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I left my hubby 2 to 3 months ago but he will not file and I don't have the money to file right now. Our names aren't on anything together. Is it true that whatever debt he racks up will go to me when I get the divorce going? Thanks in advance!
The first rule I will teach you, that will enlighten and enrage you, is that it all is really left up to a judge to decide. That's what I've been told by every lawyer I've talked to, is it fair? To me, hellz no because why should anyone's fate be left up to a judge that might have mistakenly put pi$$ in his cheerios instead of milk? A lot is put on their shoulders and I've already been basically screwed because I was married to my husband (well, I am technically *married* ) and we were married over 3 years, the house we lived in was in his name and bought before marriage so they basically told me that since we were married such a short amount of time the judge wouldn't consider giving me half or selling it and splitting profits or whatever. Although I could ask for anything I wanted, I quote "you can ask for the moon and stars, it's all up to a judge". So my 3 year marriage was basically a joke----even though we were together almost 11 years. I should have been smarter.
But if I were you what I would do is call around & see how much legal consultations are (they are usually free) and voice this concern. What I would really do is see about a separation, and in divorces & separations there are ways to get around one spouse not signing them. In Alabama you can do a "touch serve" where the server can whack whomever with the papers and they are served, and then there is one where you have to put it in the newspaper (one that reaches X amount of subscribers, X amount of issues for X amount of time...blah blah blah).
But I know (in Alabama) the cost for a separation filings are the same cost as divorce filings. But if there is a price range difference, at least you'd have a date of separation before he racked up all this debt. You'd have to prove when you left (as in new address paperwork, lease/rent information, show that he isn't supporting you, on and on to prove that YOU are not with HIM) because he can always say you were there and it is joint (because you are legally still married).
But check in your city or town for something like Legal Aid or Legal Services. Usually lawyers and attorneys have to provide so many hours of free ("volunteer") work to keep their bar or their license in the field they work. I know in the town I live in we do, and it goes by your income, a girl I know got hers done for free (and that including custody stuff). I can sent you a link for the one where I live, to give you an idea.
Long story short I would highly recommend legal consultation because most of the time the legal consultation is free (because they want you to pick them so they can make boo-koodles of money off you) and at least (that I have seen) is usually an hour free. But I say all this because I left in January (you can read through some of my older posts to hear the dramatic story) but he filed for divorce on March 12th. Our hearing isn't until August 8th (I think) and when I got my papers I thought he was going to have a long list of what all he wanted (I took things that belonged to me and some other things ) but it was because I knew I would be doing it alone, he on the other hand did not have to do it alone, he had his girlfriend that worked and his buddy that moved in with him to split the bills. But the papers I got infuriated me because they were so simple. It said the basics, we were married in city and county on this date. That we had no children, we entered into marriage freely and stated that we had incompatible differences........
upon a judge hearing the complaint, the plaintiff prays that the judge will dissolve the marriage and evenly distribute the assets and debts.
but he has a lot of bad debt, like $10,000 of old credit card stuff (my engagement ring was $5,000, and he bought a laptop with his Sears card that was like $2,000 and he had a lot of the appliances on credit) then he went and bought a house when I told him to wait and pay off all the credit cards, so then when he had to fork out a mortgage he wasn't paying and utilities he really didn't have money left over. So when I heard the words "debt" I got freaked but for the same reason I don't really have rights to the house (before marriage & in his name) are the same reasons I shouldn't have to pay a time of his debts, before we were married & in his name.
But my STBX has really done some awful things so I probably will have a mental breakdown to see what he does at our trial.
Although it does depend on the laws in your area, rule of thumb is that any debt incurred during the marriage is the responsibility of BOTH parties. The idea is that you both benefit from the purchase so you both need to be responsible to pay it off. Credit cards and financial institutions don't care who pays off the debt, they just want their money. At the same time, they don't care who it hurts either. I married my husband 3 and a half years ago. LAST YEAR--keep in mind he had been divorced for over 3 years when we got married--we got hit with a garnishment for almost $8K because his ex defaulted on a credit card that she owed about $2500 on. Tack on court costs and interest and all the rest--WE had to pay off a debt SHE incurred while they were still married that HE NEVER EVEN KNEW ABOUT!!!! To say I was furious is an understatment! At the time I was only working part time and making about $800 a month. The garnishment was for $1100 a month! I borrowed money from my parents to pay it off. And...during that time we were still paying $1200 a month in child support. You definitely want to talk to a lawyer. Now I will say that I recall years ago someone telling me that if you post a legal notice in 3 newspapers stating that you will not be legally responsible for anyone else's debts--that it covers you. However I don't know that is still the case or if it is the case in your particular state either. You may be able to find out online but as Brandie said, most lawyers will give you an initial consultation for free. Use that. Pick their brains and get all your answers. And do it ASAP! You certainly don't want YOUR credit ruined because HE does something now!!!!