What is an ex-wife’s liability for a lease that was terminated early?

UPDATED: Aug 23, 2012

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What is an ex-wife’s liability for a lease that was terminated early?

My ex-husband and I are being sued for breach of contract on a year lease agreement. We were married at the time. I left the apartment after 3 months; he stayed but left with 3 months to go so incurred early termination, cleanup and damage fees. In our divorce it was decreed that he be solely responsible for that debt. Am I still liable for it?

Asked on August 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you were on the lease, you are liable to the landlord for any breach, nonpayment of rent, and/or damage to the apartment.

If there was an agreement or decree in your divorce that your ex-husband would be resonsible, he should pay on your behalf, and you could take legal action against him if he doesn't. However, the landlord may still sue you; the decree in your divorce does not affect the landlord's rights, since the  landlord was not a party to your divorce action or to your marriage. What the decree does is give you rights against your ex-husband.

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