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

UPDATED: Oct 15, 2011

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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


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

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.

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