CanI sue my ex-wife for breaking a lease that I was co-signer on?

I was the co-signer on a lease for my ex-wife. I never lived at the address but I did it to help her when we separated. After the divorce was final she broke the lease and now owes $9000. In the decree it states that she is responsible for it. Can I sue her and have the alimony I pay her directed towards that debt?

Asked on October 15, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If in the end you end up paying any portion of the $9,000.00 that your wife is primarily responsible for concerning the lease that you co-signed for, you have a factual basis for bringing an action against her for what is called "indemnity". "Indemnity is a legal term where if one who is not as responsible for the obligation owed  to a party pays a certain amount of it, he or she can get the payment made paid by a person who has more responsibility for it.

In your situation that responsibility would primarily lie with your former wife. The problem lies with the possibility that she may not have the monies to reimburse you for what you end up paying or worse yet, she could end up filing for bankruptcy protection.

Whether or not you can have an offset for alimony payments remains to be seen by way of a court decree on the subject. I suggest that you consult with an attorney about your predicament.

Good luck.


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