Am I responsible for a utility bill that is in my name butas per my divorce decree should be paid by my wife?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Am I responsible for a utility bill that is in my name butas per my divorce decree should be paid by my wife?

My now ex-wife and I separated 18 months ago (I moved out of our house) and  we divorced 9 months ago. The phone bill was solely in my name even though we were married when the account was opened. I never closed the account because she said she couldn’t afford the deposit needed to open an account in her name. She couldn’t pay the bill and now it’s gone to collections and guess who the creditor is coming after? Me. Our divorce decree states that “Respondent harmless from payment for those debts: Any debts incurred individually by Petitioner since November 2009, the date of the parties’ separation”.

Asked on June 17, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Kansas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Actually you are responsible for this debt if the account was still in your name. This is true regardless of how such expenses were allocated in the divorce decree.  You see the creditor was not a party to the divorce action. The decree was between you and she. Therefore creditor is not bound by its terms. Accordingly, you will need to pay this debt. However, the decree is still binding on your ex-wife, consequently you can get reimbursement for any sums that you are must pay. This is what is meant by "hold harmelss".


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption