Legal Question in Family Law in South Carolina

Rule to Show Cause

My ex has not followed the debt settlement as outlined in our divorce agreement. He has not made payments on a particular debt that he agreed to be responsible for. Now the debtor is calling upon me for payment. I was told that I had to file a Rule to Show Cause throught the family courts. What impact will this have? All I really want is to have my name removed from the debt - Will he be forced to make good on the debt? Will there be some legal action taken against him?

Asked on 7/08/02, 5:04 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Johnston Law Offices of Robert J. Johnston

Re: Rule to Show Cause

Who ever told you that you need to file a Rule to Show Cause was right. It sould like you should do it immediately. Check your agreement to see if it calls for him having your name removed from the debt. I can't tell you about legal action against him; that is up to the debtor. Good luck.

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Answered on 7/09/02, 9:10 am

Walter Smith Law Offices of Walter H. Smith

Re: Rule to Show Cause

Unfortunately, creditors of the marriage are not parties to the family court litigation, and, therefore, are not bound by the Court's Order, and may freely pursue either or both of you. For this reason, an indemnification or hold harmless clause is frequently a part of a Separation Agreement or Decree. Also, the one sided assignment of financial responsibilities can be an element of support (ie alimony), which would become important if his bankruptcy is next. A contempt action (Rule) is the next step, but you should expect to hear that his non-payment is due to circumstances beyond his control and that his failure to pay is therefore not willful disobedience of the Decree. Removing his name from the obligation depends on his ability to refinance, which is unlikely if he is in financial ruin, or it will depend on the cooperation of the creditor, which is unlikely if you have the ability to pay. Perhaps a civil claim and judgment against him for whatever this ends up costing you is a possibility.Without more information, that's about all I can offer.

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Answered on 7/09/02, 10:08 am

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