What to do if I settled out of court on my divorce and part of the settlement included paying my ex-husband $16,000 when my parent’s house sold?

He has a truck that has a loan in both our names. Can I use that money to pay off the truck and get my name off the loan? What can I do to get my name off of this debt?

Asked on January 20, 2013 under Family Law, North Carolina

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The final order of divorce should have incorporated your out-of-court settlement.  If you settlement has not yet been finalized, then you should make sure that all issues are addressed before the divorce is finalized, including who is going to pay the truck loan.

If a final order has already been entered which orders you to pay him the $16,000, then you must pay it to him.  If he will agree to let you apply the $16,000 to the truck loan in lieu of a direct payment to him, then you can-- but get it in writing.  If he does not agree, then you are stuck with the order.  The final order should designate who is to pay on the note.  If he fails to pay the note, then you can take him back to court for an enforcement action.

If the final order is silent about who gets the truck and the associated debt, you may need to go back to the trial court and seek clarification orders.  At this hearing, you can request permission to apply part or all of the $16,000 to the loan. 

If you don't have a family law attorney, it would be helpful and potentially cost effective if you had one.  It sounds like some issues are slipping through the cracks that could be resolved with a well-written order or settlement.  Do not rely on your ex's attorney to draft a clear order in your favor.


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