How marital debt may dramatically affect your divorce

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Divorce on Sunday, March 16, 2014.

Many discussions of property division during divorce center on how assets and income will be divided equitably among spouses. This is an unquestionably important element of divorce, however it is not the only property division discussion that most spouses are compelled to have with one another.

Chances are that when you divorce you will be in some kind of debt. You may have mortgage debt, auto loan debt, student debt, business debt, credit card debt and medical debt. Generally, most debts acquired during the marriage are divided equally during the divorce process. Notable exceptions may include some forms of student debt, business debt and other debts that are taken out personally or under unique circumstances.

However, it is important to understand that simply because your divorce decree may insist that your debts must be divided somewhat equally, creditors may still come after you for certain debts that your former spouse is ultimately supposed to be held responsible for.

In addition, a court may or may not hold you responsible for debts you were not aware of. The court may make judgments about this scenario during or after the divorce settlement process, depending on when information about the debt comes to light.

If you took out loans or lines of credit with your former spouse and both of your names remain tied to those loans, creditors may generally come after both of you when seeking repayment. If your former spouse is failing to live up to his or her end of the property division settlement, you may need to speak with your attorney about legal options that may allow you to compel compliance.

Source: The Huffington Post, “What Your Divorce Attorney Won’t Tell You About Marital Debt” Cathy Meyer, March 2, 2014