Can i sue my ex-wife to remove my name from a student loan i co-signed when we were married?

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Can i sue my ex-wife to remove my name from a student loan i co-signed when we were married?

The divorce decree states that she is responsible for the loan. She is not making payments on it now and it is starting to negatively affect my credit.

Asked on April 2, 2019 under Family Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You can take legal action to enforce your rights and her responsibilities under the decree: so if she has to pay the loan (be responsible for it), you can force her to pay. You can force her to do whatever she is supposed to do.
However, you cannot get your name off the loan. The loan is a contract among three parties: you, your wife, and the lender. All three would have to agree to remove you, since all parties to a contract must agree to any change in it, and the lender will not agree to remove you from the loan--why would they, when removing you doesn't benefit them at all and in fact hurts them by reducing the number of people who have to pay the loan. The decree in the divorce case between your ex-wife and you does not bind or control the lender in any way: they were not part of your marriage or the divorce case, and the outcome of the case has no bearing on them.
So you can force your ex to pay, but you cannot remove yourself from the loan.


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