When two of the worst D words come together, many clients want to run away or avoid confronting these issues head on. These two D words, debt and divorce, often play a role in the legal process of ending a marriage. When one or both spouses carry debt in their marriage, this will also play a role in the divorce process as well, unless those individuals signed a prenuptial agreement to prevent this risk. Our family law practice in Winter Park can provide you with some insight into going through a divorce with debt. This is what you should know about divorce and debt.
Often, credit card debt that is acquired during the time of your marriage will be divided evenly in your split. If you have separate credit card accounts, the individual that operated the card will be stuck with that card’s debt, unless the other spouse was an authorized user. This means that you need to be aware of both you and your spouse’s spending habits when both of your names are on the credit card account.
Many couples have both of their names on the mortgage of their house, which means that they will both be responsible in splitting the debts still left on the account. This often means that you will be responsible for all the debts, even if your spouse will be unable to pay. For example, if you were the financial breadwinner of your family, you may still need to pay more of those debts than your spouse because of your financial capabilities.
Auto loans may be slightly different, as the name on the loan will be the one responsible for the debts of the account. Because vehicles are little trickier than other types of debt, many attorneys will recommend refinancing the vehicle in one of your names to the individual that will own the car after the divorce is finalized.
Students loans are often an individual loan that was taken on before the marriage. However, in some instances, you may have both signed these documents to secure the loan. If your name is on the paperwork, you will be splitting these debts 50/50 no matter which one received the education. Take time to protect yourself from the debts of your partner’s student loans by signing a prenuptial agreement with your lawyers beforehand.
Even if your spouse files for bankruptcy, you will still be the one responsible for paying off your side of the debts. This will not affect you, contrary to what most people believe. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to negotiate for what debts you deserve when you are settling your divorce, no matter what the financial situation of your partner is.
These are just a few things that you should know about divorce and debt. Whether you learn that your spouse acquired debt while you were together, or you both have different debts you need to pay off, you will want to prepare yourself to deal with these financial concerns when working with your family law practice in Winter Park. Contact the professionals at Frank Family Law Practice today.