There are many different elements to consider during a divorce. Throw debt into the mix and it gets even more complicated. You know that your property and assets are divided during a divorce but what about you and your spouse’s debt? From medical bills, student loans and credit card debt, there is a variety of debt you may be worried about. What happens to debt during divorce?
Do you have to take on your ex’s debt?
Just like the property you bought together, you and your spouse may have acquired debt together. This is called “marital debt.” If this is the case, this debt can be divided similarly to any other asset during the divorce process. Unfortunately, if your name is still on the documents for your mortgage or credit card debt, creditors may still be able to contact you seeking payment, even if you agreed to divide the debt.
However, you may be more concerned about your ex’s student loans that they acquired before you even met. Fortunately, this type of debt is considered separate property and your spouse will keep it after the divorce.
What should you do?
It’s no secret divorce is complicated and you may want to simplify the process, when possible. One way to do this is to pay off your debt before filing divorce. Splitting up debt can be messy and complex, but this can be avoided if you pay your debt in full, first.
You may also want to split up your accounts before the divorce. This can help simplify the process if you are dealing with credit card debt.
Divorce is not an easy process to go through and debt is no better. Putting them together sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it does not have to be. Talking to an experienced family law attorney can help you figure out your situation and determine the best solutions. Fortunately, dealing with debt is similar to dealing with other assets and property.