What to do if ex-spouse is not paying a debt awarded them in the divorce?

My ex was awarded a credit card debt but is not paying it; now collectors are calling me. What can I do to protect myself? Isn’t it contempt of court?

Asked on September 8, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is indeed a violation of a court order, if the decree awarded the debt to your ex - and the judge can hold your ex in contempt if he or she chooses to do so if you choose to go back to court to enforce the order.  The only way here you can protect yourself is to deal with your ex and the order before the judge again. You are going to have to sue to enforce the order.  Remember, though, that the debt collector has every right to call you and to collect the debt from you.  They are not party to your agreement or the court's order as to the debt.  They have a valid contract with you and your ex to be liable for the debt "jointly and severally" so they will keep calling and trying to collect.  You could pay and then sue your ex for the money.  An option.  Good luck.

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