Gilbert, AZ asked in Civil Litigation and Contracts for Arizona

Q: How can I get my ex partner to pay me on a car lease we have together?

My ex partner and I paid off a truck together and when we separated we agreed he would keep the truck and we took out another car together so that I could drive . He said he would help me with payments but after we got it he said he wasn’t going to help me anymore . I only have text messages about that conversation on the agreement .

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: Here are a few options to try to get your ex partner to pay for their share of the car lease:

1. Send a formal demand letter stating they agreed to pay for half the lease and you have text message evidence of this agreement. Set a deadline for their payment and state you will pursue legal options if they do not comply. Send via certified mail.

2. If they still refuse to pay, you can file a small claims court case against them for the amount owed. Bring printed copies of the text conversation showing their agreement to pay as evidence.

3. Look over the original lease paperwork to see if there is any language about liability in cases of co-signers and separation that may help your case.

4. If both your names are on the lease, report your ex to the leasing company and/or credit bureaus for failing to make timely payments per the lease agreement. This may incentivize them to pay to avoid damage to their credit.

5. Consult an attorney to understand if the text agreement constitutes a legally enforceable contract and to issue an official demand letter on attorney letterhead, which may carry more weight.

6. As a last resort if no payment still, speak to your attorney about potentially repossessing the vehicle if you remain the legal owner.

Pursuing formal legal action is likely your best avenue if amicable requests for payment fail. Your evidence will be crucial to getting a judgment in your favor.

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