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December 2007

Understanding Debts in a Rhode Island Divorce

Picture of Attorney Christopher Pearsall
Atty Chris Pearsall

Authored By:  Christopher Pearsall, RI Divorce Attorney
a.k.a.  " The Rhode Island Divorce Coach ℠ "

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One tip that is good to remember about debts in a Rhode Island Divorce is that while Rhode Island divorce judges have the power to assign responsibility for all or part of the debts to one or both parties in different proportions, the original debt contract remains untouched.

This is often overlooked or misunderstood by clients.  Assume for the sake of example that you and your spouse finance several computers during your marriage and you both signed the finance contract.

At the time either of your settlement or your divorce trial your spouse is held to be responsible for the entire computer finance contract account. 

Later you start getting incessant calls from the finance company about paying on your computer contract.  Apparently, your spouse isn't paying as he was supposed to do.

You can tell the computer finance contract company that per your divorce your spouse is responsible for the account until you are blue in the face and it won't matter.  In the finance companies' eyes and in the eyes of the law you are still responsible for the account.

The orders of the Rhode Island Family Court are binding upon you and your spouse but they DO NOT modify your contracts with the creditors.  If you keep this in mind then you'll be aware that you can still be annoyed  with collection calls, still be sued for outstanding balances, and still have your credit destroyed . . . for an obligation you were not found responsible for by the court or which your spouse agreed to be responsible for.