How should I word my decree to handle transfers of debt?

divorce attorney Jill DuffyQuestion:

My wife and I are working on an amicable divorce. We have a car in my name that we agreed she would take possession of and be responsible for the payments.

How can I ensure in the divorce decree she gets the car and the payments that go along with it and my name off the car?


It is common in a divorce for each spouse to remain responsible for the automobile they drive on a daily basis. To ensure that you are removed from the title and note on the car your Judgment of Divorce must thoroughly provide for this.

Your Judgment should provide a time period for your wife to refinance the car and remove your name from it. Your Judgment should provide that she make all payments until it is refinanced and provide that she hold you harmless from all collection efforts if she does not pay.  Your Judgment should also provide what will occur if she cannot obtain refinancing, such as the car is to be sold and any profits are to be split.

The more detailed and thorough your Judgment of Divorce is, the more protection you will have. Because the car and note are currently in your name you want to take all possible steps to ensure that the payments are made and you have recourse for nonpayment until it is out of your name.

Additionally, you do not want to remove your name for the title until it is removed from the note. If you remove your name from the title but not the note you will have a debt, but no asset to go along with it.

Although I practice law in Michigan, I cannot give you legal advice without thoroughly reviewing your case. Do not rely on this information as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney immediately for assistance. Cordell & Cordell does represent men in divorce in Michigan.


Jill A. Duffy is an Associate Attorney in the Troy, Mich., office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Ms. Duffy received her BA in Psychology and Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

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