After a divorce is finalized can my ex take me to court for debt that was not part of the property settlement agreement?

My ex and I filed for a dissolution of marriage and had made agreed to pay on a credit card that was in his name. I have paid half of what I believe to be the balance, and he is threatening to take me to small claims court. He also has refused to give me back my wedding and engagement rings and refuses to put their value towards my share of the debt. Can he take me to court for a debt that was not listed in the property settlement agreement?

Huntington Beach, CA -

Attorney Answers (2)

Dorothy G Bunce

Dorothy G Bunce

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney - Las Vegas, NV
Answered

If your ex tries to take you to small claims to collect, he will be going to the wrong court. All the disputes between you have to be resolved through your divorce, and that would include any requirement that he return your jewelry.

In most cases, the person who gets to the courthouse first in a divorce will win, so apply to enforce your divorce terms to obtain the return of your jewelry. That will put him in the defensive position.

Hope this perspective helps & good luck!

Hong Shen

Hong Shen

Business Attorney - Westlake Village, CA
Answered

If the debt occurred during marriage and it was a community debt, then the court still has jurisdiction and you may have to go back to the court to sort it out. He cannot do it in small claim court but the original family court. The court would want to know the reason the debt was omitted. If it was intentionally concealed then the settlement can be set aside within a certain time limits, according to family code 2122.

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