financemarket.news

 

 

 

My sister and her ex-husband promised, in their divorce decree, to repay my


Twenty years ago, my sister’s husband left her. She had two small kids, and lots of debt. I was in the position to loan her money to pay off those debts. Their divorce decree mentioned that each was to pay me back half. Of course, they never did. Fast forward to now. Her current husband died leaving her over $250,000. Still, she hasn’t offered to pay me. Can I legally go after her for it?

Sister Left Out of Pocket

Also see: ‘He broke down in tears’: I gave my contractor $100,000, but he used it to pay off his debts. What chance do I have of getting my money back?

“If you are lending $50,000 to a friend, family member or business partner, you need to have your John Hancocks in black and white.”


MarketWatch illustration

Dear Sister,

Lending money should never be treated lightly. When you loan people money — including and especially — family members, sign a loan agreement, spelling out the amount of money you are lending, and the period of time you would like it back, how it should be paid back (in installments or a lump sum), whether there is any collateral, plus interest and late fees. That’s a lot, isn’t it? Especially for siblings. But it also reflects the seriousness of the transaction, and reminds both parties that it’s not one that should be taken lightly. If you are lending $50,000 to a friend, family member or business partner, you need to have your John Hancocks in black and white.

But could this be seen as proof of a loan being made to your sister and her ex-husband? John Lambros, an attorney with Brinkley Morgan in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is conflicted over whether this would help you in your endeavors to get this money back. “The sister, who is owed the money, is not a party to the divorce decree,” he says. “So it is unlikely, if not impossible, that she could sue over a breach of the divorce decree. Presuming the loan was in fact made, the divorce decree could be utilized as a demonstrative piece of evidence that her sister and husband acknowledge the debt owed to her sister.”

It’s a messy situation, and a complicated one, given that you don’t mention anything about any party having signed a loan agreement. “The sister would likely have better results suing based upon a breach of contract, that is, a formal loan being made and unpaid, or through the equitable route of unjust enrichment — that she provided a benefit without being compensated,” he adds. “She would not have a basis to sue under the divorce decree, but it would certainly be helpful if she sued…



Read More: My sister and her ex-husband promised, in their divorce decree, to repay my

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.