Are we able to handle a debt/garnishee prior to a summons?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Are we able to handle a debt/garnishee prior to a summons?

My husband has been divorced from his ex for 5 years. He was served papers 8 months ago for a medical debt of his ex-wife. However, in the court order it says she is responsible for her medical bills. We contacted the debt collectors and told them this and they requested documentation. We tried calling the rehab center but there was no way of contacting. I encouraged him to write them but he never did and let it go. He owns his own business and received a garnishee order. Again, he didn’t do anything. Now he has is being requested to go to court. Is it possible to try to handle with the debt collectors before and have it

withdrawn? Also, how specific does a decree have to be regarding debt? Would it be enough to have him taken off the debt, even though it doesn’t specifically say the rehab center debt as her medical bill?

Asked on November 24, 2018 under Family Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The problem is, the court order regarding the divorce does not bind or affect the creditors: they were not part of the divorce, not part of the divorce case, and the outcome of the divorce is irrelevant to them or to any debt your husband owes. Your husband owes the creditors whatever he does owe, for any debts he guaranteed, signed for, or is otherwise responsible for: you can try to settle with them, but that will be voluntary (they have to agreew to the settlement) and they are not likely to just remove him from any debts he is otherwise liable for, since there is no legal basis for doing so. 
What he can do is sue his ex-wife to recover from her (assuming she has money or assets, or at least an income to garnish) any amounts which he has to pay or costs he incurs which he should not have--the divorce order IS binding on her, since she was part of the divorce case.

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 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 lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption