How do I proceed to collect on monies owed be by my ex-husband if he lives out-of-state?

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How do I proceed to collect on monies owed be by my ex-husband if he lives out-of-state?

My divorce decree gave all assets and all liabilities of our multiple companies to my ex-husband after 23 years of marriage. Each debt is itemized. Several years afterwards the IRS presented me with an debt due to unpaid payroll taxes for a quarter during our marriage. This was a liability that should have been listed in the decree as a liability but was unknown at that time. The IRS says it is my problem to sue him, because my SS# is the first listed on our original joint employers application so I am Primary.  The divorce was in AZ (2004); I am in TX; he is now in CA. I recently won a small claims case against him in CA for bounced checks. He has not made any payment to date even though it was court ordered. The IRS has garnished my accounts, it is hurting my credit, and making me miserable. He has ample assets. What do I do?

Asked on August 7, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately the IRS is probably right that it is not their problem.  Agreements made in a divorce proceeding between the parties are only binding on the parties.  Creditors are not bound to the terms of the agreement.  So you will indeed have to sue your ex here.  But you may need to modify your divorce agreement to include the debt as it was not originally included in the divorce agreement.  This is much more or an undertaking that suing on the original agreement.  I would suggest that you contact your original divorce attorney and consult with him or her as to this matter.  He or she may also help negotiate some relief from the IRS.  Good luck.


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