In our initial separation agreement, my former spouse agreed to pay me $1,000 a month plus half of another large bill. In the divorce decree, the amount he agreed to pay was not mentioned. He paid me for about a year but now claims he does not have any money. I have been stuck with paying over $150,000 in credit-card debt and an unsecured loan of about $25,000. Do I have any legal recourse to get him to pay me what he owes? In the end, he only married me to use my great financial history to get what he wanted. We were only married for over a year, and in that time, he ran up over $200,000 of debt. When I used to ask him for payments, he would lie and say his check must have gotten lost in the mail. Now he just tells me he has no money. I don't know where he's currently living; all I have is his email address. Is there anything I can do? -- Armettad from Charlottesville, Va.
You are certainly in a fix. The question is: How much do you want to spend to go after him? You live in an "equitable distribution" state. You could try and take him back to court for being in contempt of the court order because he has not paid you. The problem will be locating him in order to have him served with the motion. You may have to hire an investigator to find him. The other issue is that if everything is in your name, the credit card company will hold you legally responsible for the debt. My advice is to see if you can find him and see how much financial information you can gather on him. Consult with an experienced divorce attorney to see what your options are and what will be the most cost effective course of action.
My ex-roommate and I entered a joint lease in 2008. I was making my payments through a school scholarship, so when we entered the lease, I paid through the next award year. In 2010, I paid my landlord a little over $1,900 for late fees and rent, as my roommate had not been keeping up with his end of the rent. I moved out in May of 2010 and had my mother come to the apartment to help me clean everything. We left the place spotless, but my roommate trashed it after I left. I now owe over $1,000 to a collection agency for his missed payments and damages. Is there anything I can do to get him to pay the landlord and myself? -- Aaron from Culpeper, Va.
On a joint lease, you are obligated to pay the landlord for whatever your roommate didn't pay. You should make arrangements to pay what is owed and then pursue your former roommate. Send him a letter detailing what he owes for back rent and damages, and demand payment. If he ignores you, then you can sue him in small claims court. Make sure you have a copy of the lease agreement that you both signed and all of the correspondence from the collection agency and landlord. Here is a link to small claims court procedures in Virginia: http://bit.ly/12hbh0. You have to be more careful about whom you choose as a roommate.
I was named in my brother's will that was put in probate in 2009. After 3 years, the will still remained in probate with the named representative (my sister). So after this representative resigned (she took most everything of value, including having her name put on a bank account of over $150,000), the court appointed a second rep. Now after another year and a half, the will still has not been probated. It has gone from $800,000 to less than $200,000 in value -- most of it being in property. The judge is not concerned with what is going on. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. This has turned into a legal mess. What can be done to get my brother's will in final probate so that the properties can be sold before they are so far behind in taxes that we cannot sell them? -- Edna from Astatula, Fla.
This is a common problem -- families in dispute over wills and money. Without having more details, it is difficult for me to give you too much advice. What I strongly recommend is that you consult with an experienced probate attorney. I am very concerned that the judge doesn't care about what is happening to the estate. This just does not sound right to me. Probate court can be tricky. Relatives fighting over estate proceeds make it even trickier. Get some legal advice so you can make a stand in this case.
(Jackie Glass is a lawyer and former district court judge from Las Vegas, Nev., who is the new host of CBS's daytime legal affairs program, "Swift Justice With Jackie Glass." Visit http://www.SwiftJustice.com for more information, and submit your legal questions to Jackie by emailing email@example.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @theJudgeGlass.)