Skip to main content

How to file a comtempt of order? For not paying Debt

Bellevue, WA |

My ex husband has not pay the credit card that he is to take care of as stated in the divorce decree. He hasn't made any form of payment in over 10 months. The collection company has tried to contact him and he is refusing to make plan to handle the payment. I have been called many times asking to make a payment, the divorce decree states he is to full responsiblitity of the credit card. I have been told by the companies that were trying to collect the debt that they could contact my employer and garish my wages and my ex husbands wages as well. I was also told that any insurance company could denied me because the company is always my banking, for checkings, savings and car insurance that they could drop me as a member and wouldn't be able to become a member again.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Just remember, the collection people do not hae to honor your divorce decree if you and your X are owners of the debt. What you may have is a contribution or indemnity claim against your X if you get sued. Figure that my happen and align yourself with a decent consumer lawyer. Even if youliked your divorce lawyer, don't go back there...


The agreement in the divorce is only between you and him, the collectors can and will look for easy assets. If you give them the information they need to collect from him like employment and banking info then they will collect from him. But if they get a judgment against you as well then they might garnish your wages or attach your bank account. The threats about insurance are violations of the FDCPA.
You will need to consult with a consumer protection or bankruptcy lawyer locally for private and specific advice on your particular issues.

Many lawyers on this site offer a free consultation and you can find one near you, make an appointment for legal counseling, and take your paperwork and a written chronological summary.

1. Start keeping a detailed log of all calls and letters and a paper file of all information. Because persistent violations of the FDCPA are punishable by statutory fines and attorney’s fees under federal law, but you need hard evidence.

2. Make a written demand that all further communications from creditors is in writing under 15 USC 1692 (c). The letter should also contain a dispute of the validity of the charges and include a demand for a complete accounting with signatures, and all contents of their file.
The creditor then has 30 days to reply and they may not take any action until you have been sent the validation. Bear in mind that this may be motivation for the collector to work your account when the file comes to them from the original creditor with new information.

3. Do not give them any personal information because that is how collectors decide on which accounts to recommend suing. Remember they may not tell the truth and will say just about anything to get a payment from you and that payment reaffirms the debt, gives them information about you and your bank and ability to pay.

4. If you are going to make payments use money orders only and never personal checks, wire transfers, money grams, or “check by phone.” If the collector finds a bank account, the collector will be more likely recommend a lawsuit to their legal department.

5. Collections are negotiable; the original creditor has given up and is losing up to 50% on the face value already either by splitting any return or selling at a huge discount. In addition, the costs of a lawsuit although discounted still are a factor in the decision to settle with you.

If you are going to settle mark the check “settled-in-full” at the very top back of the check and include a letter explaining that you are offering a settlement, keep copies of everything.

6. Get written confirmation of any payment plan the agency will accept before making a payment.

7. Specify in writing that all payments shall be applied to principle first.
DO NOT use a paid debt settlement service; most of them are scammers. Here are some links to help you with your state & federal rights;

Washington collection agency complaint form:

Washington statute regulating collection agencies:

Consumer rights in Washington:

Look for a qualified consumer protection attorney for a low cost or free consultation:

You can search the Avvo web site under the Find a Lawyer tab. But always remember to act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to an attorney and finding out what your rights are. If this answer was helpful, please give a “Vote UP” review below. Be sure to indicate the best answer. Good Luck

Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes



The problem is that ex refuses to pay, and the banks know this. I will not pay it but after many years of having high debt I found myself thinking this might be why I haven't been hired for employment and housing has been denied. I have found that hard to bear with because he has effect everything that he doesn't take care of. I later found out that during our marriage he had another credit card without my name on it, but Washington state is also a 50 50 state so could that effect me too.

Shawn B Alexander

Shawn B Alexander


I am sorry to hear about this mess. Tell the bill collector where he banks with all the detail you have, where he works and they should collect from him with a garnishment.


Pursuant to well settled Washington law, the divorce court does not have authority to grant an order for contempt based on your ex's failure to pay a debt to a third party creditor. This is the case even though the decree allocates the debt payments to your ex. As another Washington attorney correctly pointed out, you should try to consult with a consumer debt practitioner. Good luck and please designate a best answer.

This answer is provided as a mere courtesy and is not intended to provide legal advise but rather a general roadmap which may assist in deterring whether or not to seek legal advise from a law office in your locale.. In some cases the answers may not be jurisdiction specific. In no event, is an attorney-client relationship formed by providing answers to posted questions.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer