received show cause civil/failure to appear to answer interrogatories by a creditor, didnt think i had to be there. have divorce decree where ex husband absorbed that debt..how do i proceed? is there jail time involved? can i bring paperwork to court date and have it dropped?
If you do not appear for court, a warrant can be issued for your arrest. In most cases, if you appear and answer the interrogatories, the hearing will be over. The creditor will then use the information to determine how to collect the money from you.
If your divorce orders state that your ex-husband will be reponsible for the debt, you should contact him and ask him to pay the debt. Once it is paid, the case will be dismissed. However, the creditor did not appear in your divorce and was not party to your divorce decree. Your divorce orders bind you and your ex-husband. They do not bind the creditor. The creditor can continue to collect from you until the debt is paid.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your ex-husband lives up to his obligations to pay the debt. If necessary, you can have him held in contempt by the divorce court until he pays this debt.
You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or info@Harkess-Salter.com. Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.
Go to court and explain to the court your good faith belief that you need not appear. Then explain that you will abide by all future court orders and you will be ok.
Criminal Defense Attorney
You need to appear at the next court date. If you do not, a capias can be issued, which is a warrant for your arrest for not appearing. When you appear, the show cause will probably just get dismissed.
At the hearing, the opposing party will question you on what assets you have and where there are in an attempt to collect on the debt. You need to answer the questions truthfully and accurately.
As the previous poster stated, you are still liable on the debt, however you can sue your husband for what you paid. You need to contact him immediately to pay it off or reimburse you for what you may pay.
You can't get arrested for not paying your bills (except for support and taxes and stuff like that.) But you can get arrested for not showing up in court to answer questions. You are close to that now.
If you don't pay your debts, you get sued and the creditor gets a judgment. If you don't pay your judgment, the creditor can tell you to come to court and tell where your work and bank so they can garnish you. That was the Summons to Answer--you missed that.
Now you have the Show Cause. If you miss the show cause, they can and will issue a capias--that's an order for you to be picked up. You don't want the sheriff picking you up.
So there are two things you need to do. First, show up for the Show Cause, say you are sorry and give them the info they need to garnish you. Second, if you can't afford to get garnished, talk to a bankruptcy lawyer.
(You might also want to go back to your divorce lawyer and see if there's any hope of getting the ex to pay that debt and get you off the hook, or pay you back if you end up paying it. Is he making good money? Do you know where he is? Did he pay his bills on time when you were married? Do you really think he'd pay them once you were divorced?. I think it's usually smarter for people getting divorced to file bankruptcy right then, rather than argue about who is going to pay what, when they aren't going to do it anyway. But then I'm a bankruptcy lawyer.)