(upbeat music) – Hey everybody. Welcome back to the
Consumer Warrior podcast. A podcast that is dedicated to helping you with your big debt problems. If you are just dabbling in debt, this isn’t the podcast for you. We deal with the big debt problems, like repossession, debt
collection lawsuits, foreclosure, bankruptcy, and all those other
horrible things out there. We help you to help yourself. Welcome back to the show. I’m your host, John Skiba. I’m a consumer protection
attorney in the state of Arizona and I’m excited also to announce
that I’m a newly minted, certified Ramsey Solutions
Master Financial Coach. This is a certification that
the Dave Ramsey group provides to people who take a course, which I did, and I passed with flying colors, to do financial coaching with people. So this is something
that I’m really adding to my law practice to help
people and give other options other than just bankruptcy, you know. A lot of times people come
in, they have limited debt and they think bankruptcy
is the only option so I was excited to get this training and it’s something I had been planning on for quite some time because, you know, it just gives other options on how to deal with debt problems. I’m also excited because I can do coaching all over the country. With my law license, I’m just limited to the state of Arizona and I have a ton of people
who come to my website and listen to this podcast and come to my YouTube
channel, who need assistance and with the financial coaching
I can assist them with that because it is not legal services, it’s more coaching, budgeting,
and teaching strategies and skills to help people
to get out of debt, build wealth, and stay out of debt. So if you want to learn more about that you can go over to my website at ConsumerWarrior.com. You can also, housed within there are the courses, the online tutorials, templates and all that kind of stuff to help you get out of debt. That’s at Legal.coach,
that’s www.legal.coach. Alright, so today is going
to be the final installment of a little mini-series
that I’ve been doing on the total money makeover and all the debt myths
that are in that book. We’ve addressed a number
of them specifically and today I want to finally address one that has to do with divorce. This is on 62 of the book,
if you have a copy of it. The myth that Dave points out, he says, “That my divorce decree says my spouse has to pay the debt, so I don’t.” I run into this misconception, this misunderstanding of the law and debt quite often in my law practice, where someone will come
in and they’re being sued by a debt collector or
their thinking they need to file for bankruptcy
and I start going over their debt with them and they say, “Okay, here’s my debt, there is some debt that’s in my name but my ex-spouse, my ex-husband agreed in the divorce decree that he would pay those,
so I’m not responsible for those.” And that’s totally wrong. And the reason why is because
the way you need to look at a divorce decree, the divorce decree is essentially a contract. A court sanctioned
contract or an agreement between you and your ex-spouse. You’re the only parties to it. You’re listed on the caption of the case, it’s you and your ex-spouse. You’re the parties to that agreement and you know in most divorce decrees, the judge will go through and call ’em A, they’ll
have what he’s going to pay and call ’em B they have
what you’re going to pay and then you know you
go your separate ways. Now, you are both bound
to that divorce decree. You have to follow through
or you run the risk of being in contempt of the divorce decree or in violation of the terms of it and the court can order you
to take certain actions. However, your creditors are not parties to your divorce decree
and they are not bound by your decree. So, if you have a credit
card with Citibank and it’s in your name, but
the divorce decree says that your ex-spouse is
going to be responsible for paying it, if he doesn’t pay it,
you’re still on the hook. They can still come after you. They can still call and
collect and do everything else that they want to do to
try to collect on that debt and you’re going to be liable for it. They’re going to hurt your
credit, they can sue you, they can garnish you, they can
do all those horrible things, even though the court ordered him to pay that particular debt. Now, you do have some recourse through the family law court. You know, if you have to pay some money on the Citibank because they sue you and they garnish your
wages, you could then go into your family court case and say, “Hey Judge, he agreed to pay this. You ordered him to pay
this, he didn’t do it. I had to pay it, I want to be reimbursed.” That’s legally what you can do, however what you’re going to experience is that’s often a big hassle. That can be expensive with attorney’s fees and if you’ve dealt with family law cases, it just can cause a whole
other host of problems. So, often people don’t do that. So, it’s something to be aware, that just because in a divorce decree one spouse has agreed to
pay those certain debts that doesn’t mean that the creditor has to honor that. And you’ll find that out
if you tell the creditor, you know if they’re
calling you for collections and you tell them, “Hey,
he agreed to pay it.” They may call him and try to collect on it but they’re not going to be bound by that. They may just go after both of you, instead of just one of you. Also, if you’re in a state like Arizona, where I practice, which is
a community property state, that adds a whole other
layer to everything and there’s a good chance you’re liable, even if it’s not in your name because most debts that are
incurred during marriage, are generally considered joint
in community property states. So, that myth, that’ll end
this little mini-series, I’m in agreement with that one as well, that just because a debt
is given to somebody else in the decree that doesn’t
mean that you’re no longer responsible for it. So, you still need to deal with it, whether it’s through something like, Dave, his plan, as far as like a debt snowball, getting rid of it. Or, whether it’s a bankruptcy in probably more extreme situations. You still have to deal with it. It’s still going to be a problem. So, that will do it for this episode and it’ll do for our little mini-series. I hope you enjoyed that? If you want to go back and
check those out, if you haven’t, we’ve addressed a number
of topics of common things that I hear in my law practice that people have these beliefs about money and about debt, that
just simply aren’t true and they can end up
causing you a lot of grief down the road if you’re operating under bad information on that. So, again I want to thank the
sponsor for today’s episode, which is the Consumer Warrior Project. This is a place for all the templates and tutorials and forms. All those resources to
help you get out of debt or how’s. That again is over at Legal.coach and if you’re interested in
financial coaching services and working with me, I
can do that nationwide now as a certified Ramsey Solutions
Master Financial Coach. We can help you in getting
your finances back in order, get rid of debt and start
to build some wealth. So, that’s going to do
it for this episode. I appreciate you listening in and I will catch you next time. (upbeat music)