You are here

Is it possible to renegotiate the terms of the divorce contract?

brainstorming's picture

When I and my husband got married I knew he had no properties or money whatsoever. He is a professor and has a modest income. I also knew he was paying children’s support for the next eight years. What I didn’t know is that… he and his ex-wife had a 25,000 dollars debt on the credit card. When he divorced his ex-wife, she didn’t take responsibility for her part on the debt, so he agreed to pay the entire amount. Years before getting divorced, they’d bought a house where his two kids and his ex-wife still live in. The house is on his name and also on his ex-wife’s name, but he is the one paying the entire mortgage. To sum up, 2/3 of his income goes to children and ex-wife debts. What’s left was hardly enough to pay for his maintenance as a single person (before we get married).
Concerning his ex-wife, she’s young (37), healthy, and capable to work, although she never wanted to. She is a native Spanish speaker, what makes it easy for her to get different kinds of jobs. The kids are 10 and 11 years old, they both attend school, so she doesn’t need to stay at home taking care of them (actually, my husband takes care of them two times/ afternoons per week). Right now, my husband’s ex-wife works only four or five hours a week -- teaching Spanish and doing some work at a school library. Most of the time, though, she’s at home doing nothing (or at least, not working).
The children support and the payment of the debts are settled on the divorce contract. However, I was wondering if now he remarried he could renegotiate the terms of his divorce contract. We don’t have kids, but we also have a household to maintain. I’m an architect, I’ve worked all my life, but in this country I still haven’t gotten the permission to work. I'm waiting for my papers. I’m looking forward to start working but I still think it’s not faire for me and my husband to pay for his ex-wife’s part on the debt they made before getting divorced. Is there anything I could do about it?

Mary's picture

I do know that every state is different with the laws of divorce. I don't believe you can go back just because you don't want to pay for their debit. I do know that in my state you can have the divorce set aside if the Judge was NOT informed of all debits and funds. Meaning if one party or the other "hid" information and you can prove it! But, if the Judge is aware...NO WAY can it be changed.
Child support can be changed (in my state) This depends on both parties income. If your husbands income has changed (lowered) he has the right to a lower child support. If a DH has children with his new wife some states allow a discount for multiple families. Remember, children are not cheap to raise! They do need child support!!! They usually need MORE than what child support allows! BOTH parents are responsible for that expense (and don't think it will stop at the age of 18). GOOD LUCK!

Anne 8102's picture the house. How exactly is the house divided in the divorce? Does it say that he must pay the mortgage? Is the deed, not the mortgage but the deed, in his name AND hers? Is her name on the mortgage? Depending on how the house was divided, he may be able to force a sale of the property, which he could use the proceeds to pay off the debt. But again, without knowing the details of the divorce order, it's hard to advise.

~ Anne ~
Please join the Campaign to Save Madison!

What!!'s picture

This should have all been taken care of prior to the divorce. He should have gotten his name off the house or have it sold. The credit card would be both their responsibility. He needs to consult an attorney right away, as to what kind of action he can take.

If there's not a lot of equity, he could volunteer to quit claim the house to the ex, but make sure she agree's to refinance and do another loan to get his name off of that also. That is relatively simple. If your husband will not do these things I would proceed to divorce him, because his ex is controlling your finances and future. These mistakes left unattended could end up being costly to you and your family, so I wouldn't wait. Good luck