My Ex Owes Me Money: Will I Ever Get it Back?


Often times, when a married couple decides to split up – the dissolution of the marriage takes a significant amount of time. This lag period can be extremely difficult for people who are ready to move on (and away) from each other. In fact, many divorcing couples actually end up living together for much longer than either party would like – due to entangled finances, lack of substantial income, shared debts and convenience.

It’s a rare couple who can make it through a time period like this without at the very least getting into some heated arguments. Knowing that you’re no longer a romantic couple but having no other option but to continue living under the same roof can create an amazing amount of psychological strain. This can lead to increased fighting or deafening, never-ending silence.

On the other hand, there are couples who mutually acknowledge their need to “uncouple.” While recognizing that they are no longer working well as a pair, they still manage to remain civil and often even remain friends. Obviously, this type of split is preferable to the former, more contentious model, but it does invite problems of its own.

As romantic love fizzles out and a more business-like relationship takes hold, discussions shift from sharing your inner thoughts to who’s going to pay which monthly bills before the divorce is final and the Property Settlement Agreement is in place. It is during this delicate time period that clear communication is needed more than ever before, especially regarding finances.

I lent my ex money during our separation: will I ever be able to get it back?

Sharing finances is extremely common in the months/year (or so) after a couple has made the decision to divorce. Entangled bank accounts and bills are sometimes the last things to separate during a split, especially if one spouse makes significantly more money than the other.

During this very sensitive time, it’s quite common for the spouse with the higher-paying job to help out the other spouse until s/he can get back on track. What may have been normal financial practices during the length of the marriage may now take on terms like “loan,” “borrowing” and “I’ll pay you back.”

It’s fantastic if a divorcing couple can manage to put their differences aside in order to see each other to the finish line with both parties in good financial standing. Something important to know, however, is that it’s kind of impossible to “loan” your legal spouse money. As long as you were still legally married, there is no such thing as “loaning money” from one party to the other. All money within the marriage belongs equally to both spouses until such time as the Final Judgment of Divorce is received.

If you’ve lent money to your “ex” when s/he is technically still your spouse, chances are high that you’ll never see that money again. Count yourself lucky if your “ex” is a good-hearted person and at some point in the near future has the ability and the desire to settle up any ‘oral agreement’ loans that were negotiated during your separation.


Image credit: Quazie

One Response to My Ex Owes Me Money: Will I Ever Get it Back?

  1. Pingback: Is Equitable Distribution Dischargeable in Bankruptcy? | Veitengruber Law

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