Divorce Cases – Rights Of Creditors – Hiding Property

Rights of creditors in a divorce case

The judge in a divorce case cannot deprive creditors of their rights, so a creditor might force you to pay a debt that the judge assigned to your spouse. If you were personally obligated to pay the debt before the divorce (for example, you and your spouse both signed a promissory note), the creditor can collect from you despite the fact that the judge assigned this debt to your spouse. You do have the right to try to get the money back from your spouse.

Hiding property during a divorce proceeding

What if your spouse threatens to hide or dispose of property before the divorce proceeding is over?

Some states such as California usually include in the petition for divorce an automatic order restraining the spouse from doing this. If your state does not provide for an automatic order, you might request a “restraining order” accomplishing the same thing. If your spouse violates the order, he or she can be held in contempt of court.

The parties to a divorce generally have an obligation to tell the judge about all property they own. If you learn after the divorce that your spouse failed to do this, you will probably be able to persuade the judge to reopen the case.

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