I am having issues collecting payment on an agreement made in a divorce decree. What recourse do I have?

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I am having issues collecting payment on an agreement made in a divorce decree. What recourse do I have?

I took upon consolidated student loan debt during marriage and it was stipulated in our divorce that my ex-wife would repay this debt via a monthly payment. Recently, collecting this payment has become difficult if not impossible. Payments have become increasingly late, and now are three months behind. What recourse do I have to collect this debt in a more reliable manner?

Asked on June 1, 2009 under Family Law, Minnesota

Answers:

S.J.H., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Normally when a party violates a provision of their divorce decree, the other party can file a motion in court to seek enforcement of the agreement or even contempt of court. This would allow you to seek remedial measures. Depending on the law of your state, these can be a money judgment in which you can garnish her wages or freeze accounts, or in some cases incarceration. If these are not feasible there may be other provisions in your divorce agreement that can be modified to make up for your ex-wife's failure to pay these debts. In many divorce agreements there is a provision which allows for a party who has been wronged to get reimbursed legal fees that it cost to bring the enforcement or contempt proceeding. A more detailed review of the agreement would be in order to see if she has violated it. You should also check to see if there is a default provision in the agreement which requires you to give her specific written notice of her default before going to court.

Your best bet would be to have your divore agreeement reviewed by an attorney in your area.


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