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Parental liability as co-signers on kids’ school loans subject to divorce decree

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Student loan liabilities of parents who co-signed for their two children should have been a consideration in dividing property in a divorce proceeding, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

The panel affirmed in other respects the ruling from the court of Marion Superior Judge David Dreyer, but remanded John Luttrell v. Melinda Luttrell, 49A02-1301-DR-85, to consider the student loans.

“While there is little relevant Indiana case law regarding disposition of contingent liability in divorce proceedings, we believe the loans should have been considered by the trial court,” Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote for the panel that included Judges James Kirsch and Patricia Riley.

The court cited In re Marriage of Lay, 512 N.E.2d 1120, 1123-24 (Ind. Ct. App. 1987) that established the court may not divide assets or liabilities that don’t exist, but said that should not be the case for liabilities in which the parents have guaranteed payment in the event of a default.

“While it is possible that neither John nor Melinda will be called upon to make good on their promise to repay the loans, at the same time, their names cannot be removed from the loans,” Robb wrote. “If one of the children defaults, the co-signers will be liable on the debt. We remand to the trial court for consideration of the Luttrells’ liability under the children’s student loans.”


 

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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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