After a divorce is final, am I still responsible for her debt if I’m a co-signer?

I am the co-signer for my ex-wife’s vehicle. I would like to take my name off that account due to the fact that its lowering my credit score by adding more debt. I was told that once a divorce is final all i had to do is call the dealership to get my name off the account, is this true?

Asked on August 14, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, not really.  Have you already finalized the divorce?  Did you have a lawyer?

Usually as a part of the marital settlement agreement, the party not keeping the vehicle demands that the other party refinance the car into their name alone.  If you didn't make that a part of the settlement agreement, then you are still liable as a co-signer in spite of being divorced. 

You can ask your ex to refinance.  You could also call the finance company and ask the finance company to do a "voluntary repo" but that will hurt your credit almost as much as continual late payments. 

If you have a lawyer call them and ask them why they didn't address this.  If you didn't have one, next time you face a legal matter remember lawyers can be helpful!


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