What to Know About Dealing with 3 Types of Debts During a Divorce

Law Blog

Not only is a divorce a hard thing to go through due to the emotional aspects, but the financial side of things can be difficult to work through. When a couple has existing debt that needs to be divided during a divorce, it can make for problematic divorce proceedings that you need to work through. Here is what you need to know about how these three types of debt can cause problems during a divorce.

Student Loans

Debt related to a student loan is pretty straight forward for the most part. If your spouse has existing student loan debt that was taken out before you were married, know that you are free and clear of having to pay those debts off jointly after a divorce. The remaining balance on the loan will be the responsibility of your former spouse.

However, it gets a little bit more complicated if the loan was taken during the marriage. There are several states that would consider student loans taken out during a marriage as community property, making you partially responsible for paying them back after a divorce. The majority of states would still assign responsibility to whoever took out the student loan.

If you're living in a state where your spouse's student loan debt is assigned as community property, it is worth negotiating with your spouse so that they take responsibility. For example, they may have received a degree that will give them a lot more earning power and will have an easy time paying the loan back.

Medical Bills

Medical bills can be a bit more complicated because a judge will often decide how that type of debt will be divided. Those community property states will divide the debt between both spouses, but other states look at many factors to determine how to divide it. For example, if your spouse was the reason for the medical related debt, and they have sole custody of the children, a judge may assign part of the debt to you because the medical debt would be a financial burden to your spouse and the children they are raising.

Credit Card Debt

The name on the credit card doesn't matter if there are big bills to pay. The credit card was used to buy assets for the household, which makes them a joint expense. Be prepared for credit card debt to be split between the two of you unless you can prove that the credit card was used for personal purchases. If your spouse intentionally racked up credit card debt after deciding to get divorced, you could also have that debt assigned to them.

To learn more about debt and divorce, be sure to contact a local divorce attorney to help with your case.


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