Is It Wise to Lend Money to Your Ex-To-Be?

Finding a fair and workable division of marital property in a divorce is no easy feat. Under California’s Beautiful Home community property laws, spouses are entitled to share all property acquired during the marriage equally in the event of a divorce, but dividing items equally isn’t always possible. For example, the spouse with whom the couple’s children will spend most of their time might want to keep the house in the split, but might not have the cash necessary to buy out their spouse’s share.

In these cases, that spouse might try to make an installment payment plan part of a divorce settlement, allowing them to reimburse their spouse over time. But is this a good idea? Read on to consider factors that could influence your decision to make installment payments part of your divorce settlement, and speak with a seasoned Los Angeles divorce attorney with any further questions.

  1. Is there any other potential source of money for your ex? Divorced spouses are often one sharp word or careless action away from a serious argument, and money is a subject that can lead to conflict even between those who are happily in a relationship. Rather than invite the potential for additional conflict into your relationship with your ex, see if they can obtain a loan from someone such as a friend or family member, rather than paying you back in installments.
  1. Does your ex have a history of being financially responsible? Few people are as familiar with your spouse’s ability to manage their money and debt as you are. Perhaps your ex has always been responsible with money, but simply needs a brief helping hand, and you expect that they’ll have no trouble keeping up with an installment plan. However, if you know that your ex is bad at managing money, does not have stable employment, or would skip payments simply to get back at you, then a payment plan might not be such a great idea.
  1. Are you willing to go back to court to enforce the agreement? Before agreeing to an installment payment plan, it’s a must to get the terms of the plan in writing that both spouses have signed and which can be enforced in court. Of course, this means that you’ll need to consider whether it is worthwhile to return to court should your spouse fail to make their payments. Are you willing to spend the time, energy, and expense on yet more litigation? Make sure you give this question serious consideration before agreeing to act as a lender to your ex.

If you need skilled, compassionate, and knowledgeable legal help with a custody dispute or divorce in California, contact the Los Angeles family law attorneys at Lavinsky Law for a consultation, at (310) 929-6411.