How Are Marital Debts Divided in a Divorce?


When a couple ends a marriage, they must go through the process of dividing all marital assets and debts. As a general rule, both spouses will be responsible for any debts they incurred throughout the duration of the marriage, no matter who spent the money. However, although debts are generally divided fairly between spouses, lenders may still consider both parties jointly responsible for the debt. If one spouse fails to pay the debts assigned during the divorce, creditors may pursue the other spouse for payments.

Debt Division and Divorce

There is more than one way to divide debt in a divorce. Your attorney will advise you of your options and which may be the best course of action for you.

Here are some ways in which debt may be divided in a divorce:

  • You and your former spouse can agree to sell off joint property to pay off any outstanding marital debt.
  • You can negotiate for a larger share of marital property in exchange for paying off the marital debt.
  • Your former spouse can be responsible for a larger share of debt in exchange for more marital property.
  • You can agree to split the debt equally.
  • If you are awarded custody of the children, a judge may order your former spouse to shoulder a larger portion of the marital debt, in addition to child support and spousal maintenance.

There is no right answer when it comes to dividing debt. However, if possible, one of the best ways to handle marital debt is to pay it off before the divorce is finalized. Doing so will ensure that, regardless if one party falls behind on payments, creditors will not pursue the other. As a result, you will both have peace of mind that your credit score will not take a hit because of your ex’s delinquency.

Speak to a Knowledgeable Divorce Attorney About Your Case Today!

The process of dividing assets and debts is often the most complex during a divorce. At the Law Firm of Johnson & Gaskill PLLC, we will work with you to help you achieve the best results possible. We know how hard it is to end a marriage and will do what is necessary for you to achieve the smoothest possible resolution.

Reach out to our law office today at (832) 210-1698 to request a free initial case evaluation with a member of our team to get started.

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