What to do if my ex-wife is refusing to pay student loans that I co-signed with her on and our divorce decree states that she is responsible for them?

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What to do if my ex-wife is refusing to pay student loans that I co-signed with her on and our divorce decree states that she is responsible for them?

There are 2 loans (Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo). I lost my home last year to foreclosure after I filed for bancruptcy so I’m not really worried about my credit anymore. She lives in one and I have moved to another. If I start paying them how do I get my money back? What kind of attorney can help me with this?

Asked on April 30, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The best way to try and resolve the issue of a court ordered loan payment with respect to your former wife's obligations as to them is try and see if she will voluntarily make the payments. If she still refuses to do so, I suggest that you file a petition with the court under the marital dissolution agreement and judgment seeking a finding that your former wife is in contempt of a court order where you seek that the court order her to make the payments immediately and stay current.

The problem that I see is that if you make the payments yourself on the loans that you co-signed, you will have a hard time getting your money back from her.

If you had a family law attorney representing you in your dissolution, it would be a good idea to consult with him or her about your current situation and seek assistance in the preparation of the recommended petition against your former wife.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  The agreement with your ex wife is a contract which you can sue on should you start to pay the loans.  As you have realized, the loan companies are not bound by your agreement with your ex wife.  They can come after you based upon your signature on the loans.  You may be able to sue her on your own depending on the amount of the loans and how much you are paying (is it more than small claims?).   But any good attorney that does collection or contract work can help you. Or even your divorce lawyer.  Good luck. 


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