What Happens to Debts During Divorce?

court gavel on an array on money

When marital property is divided up during the divorce process, it is also important to divide up debts as well. Dividing up responsibility for debts can be just as contentious and just as important to your future financial security as any decisions that are made on the division of marital assets.

When you divide up debts, you and your spouse can try to negotiate on this issue and come to an agreement with the help of divorce lawyers. A judge can also decide who is going to be responsible for paying what debts if you are not able to come to an agreement on this issue on your own.  If you or your spouse came into the marriage with debt that was only in your name, this debt will still belong to the person who incurred it. However, if either of you acquired debt during the marriage, it can end up being both of your responsibilities so it is important to know exactly what financial burdens are being imposed upon you.

If your spouse is told to pay off part of your debts during the divorce process but the account is in both of your names, it is usually best to try to get the debt refinanced into your spouse’s name alone. Otherwise, creditors could still try to come after you even though your spouse should be paying the debt. A divorce lawyer can help you understand the risks.

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