Till Debt Do Us Part: Dividing Shared Debts in Divorce

Family Attorney in Colorado SpringsWhen the marriage falls apart, both you and your spouse will have to sort out financial affairs. One important part of this is dividing debts or determining which debts belong to which partner. The division of total money owed, of course, will depend on whether you and your partner live in a community property or equitable distribution state.

Separate and Shared Debts

In dividing debts, you need to find out how much debt you and your spouse have. You can do this by ordering credit reports from reporting agencies. The reports will let you know which debts are considered separate and shared. Debts that belong to one party are the sole responsibility of that spouse. Shared debt, however, can be complicated to sort out.

Distributing Debts

When distributing shared debts, both of you can decide to pay all debts with joint assets. This is advisable before proceeding with the divorce to avoid the hassles of trying to find out which spouse needs to pay. One spouse can also take a greater share of the debts in exchange for more shared assets. The other spouse, meanwhile, can take fewer shares of the debts and less of the assets.

Family attorneys in Colorado Springs note that if possible, both you and your partner can also split the shared debts evenly. At this point, it is important to remember to stop the debt from accumulating, as sorting out will be more difficult if the list keeps on growing.

The Courts’ Role

In divorce judgment, the courts will divide the debts along with the assets. They will also determine which one is responsible for paying which debt. If you, for instance, pay for a debt that your spouse is liable for, you can petition the court and ask for reimbursement. The same is also the case if your partner pays for the debts you need to pay.

It is advisable to consult a family attorney when going through the process. The right lawyer will guide you through the legal process and represent your interest in the best possible way.