Debts are common in most marriages, and those debts must be split when the couple divorces. As in other states, Alabama courts can order one spouse to pay a joint debt such as a car loan, but lenders generally don't have to follow the court's divorce decrees.
Decree Vs. Loan Agreement
When Alabama couples divorce, their divorce decree typically divides the debts between both spouses. For example, the decree might give one spouse possession of the vehicle along with responsibility to pay its loan. If this spouse makes payments on time and as scheduled, the other spouse likely will not notice the fact that he is actually still legally responsible for paying the loan. Lenders are not bound by the terms of the court's divorce decree, however, so if the spouse who is supposed to pay decides he doesn't want to keep up the payments, the lender can still come after the other spouse. Since both spouses signed the loan paperwork, the lender is within his legal rights to hold both spouses responsible to pay. However, a spouse who ends up having to pay the debt can take the other spouse back to court for reimbursement.