Do I have to appear in court for an unpaid cable/phone bill that my ex-wife says I accrued after we where divorced?

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Do I have to appear in court for an unpaid cable/phone bill that my ex-wife says I accrued after we where divorced?

After my divorce was final I lived in our house attempting to sell it. I had the cable/phone bill off and I was told there was a 0 balance on the account. The account was in her name. Now over a year later she says there there is a $562 bill and it has gone to collections. Her attorney has given me 30 days to pay it or threatened to take me to court. I really don’t have the money and don’t want to go to court. What are the consequences of not going to court?

Asked on June 9, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If this was a debt that she accrued after you were divorced and you're not responsible for the debt, then you're not liable on the account.  I suspect the attorney is bluffing you a bit.  It will probably cost your wife more to pay the attorney to sue you than it would for her just to pay the delinquent account.  In the event that the attorney does take the case to court, show up and explain your situation to the judge. You will also need to file an answer which essentially says that you "generally deny all of the allegations" in your wife's petition. If you don't file an answer after you are formally served with the notice of a lawsuit, then a default judgment could be rendered against you. This means that you will become liable of debt you were never responsible for. 


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