Some debts accrued in a marriage are divided between partners after divorce. However, some debts accrued after divorce have a gray area when it comes to who is responsible. If you are collections services agent, you need to know the laws in your state, what the divorce decree states for the parties you pursue, and how to go after the correct person for the debt.
Certain Debts Created After the Divorce
A divorce decree often states that any and all debt created by one partner either during or after the legal separation and divorce is the responsibility of that person and not of both partners. The rare exception is with regards to debts created for childcare or expenses related to the children. Typically, both parents are responsible then, but there are also some exceptions here as well. These exceptions include:
- Debt created without the express permission of the other parent when the other parent could have clearly taken care of the children
- Debt created by one partner to financially hinder or impoverish the other
When either of these situations occurs, you will undoubtedly be met with fierce resistance collecting the debt. You may pursue it in small claims court, but when the judge hears the testimony of one parent as it relates to these situations, you will return to square one and have to pursue the other parent for the debt.
Pursuing the Responsible Party
Once you have established which parent is really responsible, it may be impossible to extract the money from that parent. He or she may ignore your calls or insist that the other parent pays half, despite what you have already gone through to prove that this person owes the full debt. Your course of action could include legal support such as garnishment and the seizure of tax refund money. However, these methods of collection may be more costly than the amount owed, in which case you may also have to pursue the reimbursement of the expenses incurred.
Varying Laws by State
Not every state allows garnishment or tax refund seizure, so you may be stuck pursuing this person indefinitely. If you cannot extract the amount owed in order to give it to your client, you may have to come up with a plan of action that either resolves the issue or dissolves the bad debt. Some states will only allow you to pursue a post-divorce debt for a certain number of years before advising your client to write it off and let it go. For more information, contact AA Fast Eviction Service.