Car Payments in Divorce Proceedings
In a divorce proceeding, if a car payment is late, who has to pay? I’m Tulsa attorney James Wirth. That’s the question that we have received. If you’re going through a divorce, the divorce is not finalized yet, there’s a car involved in the divorce, the payment hasn’t been made, it’s late, who needs to pay to get that taken care of? All right, so that is the question.
It’s not always super simple, but this is what I can tell you. When a divorce petition is filed in the state of Oklahoma and it’s served on the other side, it’s got an automatic temporary injunction attached. It says everything needs to be done pursuant to the normal course of business. So that is an excellent argument that whoever has historically been paying that bill needs to continue to do so.
What you wanna do though is you wanna put in an application for temporary order. So you can get an order from the court that governs the time period while the divorce is pending and it should provide terms regarding who is required to pay these things. So you want an order saying the other side’s required to pay and then they need to pay that.
Considerations for Car Payments in a Pending Divorce
However, that’s not always the simplest thing because although the judge can order one of the parties to pay, the judge cannot prevent the creditor from coming after you if you are on that debt, even if the other side was ordered to pay because that creditor is not a party to the divorce proceeding. So sometimes if you’re worried about your credit and you’re on there, it makes sense for you to go ahead and take on that responsibility subject to potential reallocation when the final decree is entered because you don’t want that being late.
You don’t wanna have to trust the other side’s gonna pay it. I mean, sure, it’s been ordered. If they violate the court’s order, you can file a contempt proceeding, go after them. There’s gonna be costs associated with that. There’s gonna be time associated with that that you can try to recoup on the end. But if you’re worried about your credit, it may make sense for you to take on that obligation subject to you getting credit for it maybe in the final split of assets and debts at the end of the decree when the final divorce decree is entered and everything is resolved at that point.
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So who’s required to pay it? Whoever’s ordered a temporary order, sure. If there is no temporary order yet, who was ever historically doing it pursuant to the automatic temporary injunction. But practically speaking, that doesn’t save you from getting a hit on your credit or even a suit from the creditor if it’s not paid. So there may be a more practical solution.
If you’re going through that scenario, you probably wanna talk to an attorney about your specific circumstances to get advice on strategically how to handle it. If you’d like to get something like that scheduled with my office, you can go online to MakeLawEasy.com to schedule a free consultation.