Texas Divorce: Dividing Debt
After the assignment of child custody, the division of marital property is usually the predominant hurdle of a divorce. Your marital property includes both your assets and your debt. Your divorce settlement will likely have a lasting impact on your financial future, and the division of your debt can play a significant role. If you are facing a divorce and have considerable marital debt, you need an experienced Central Texas divorce attorney.
The Division of Debt in a Texas Divorce
Texas is a community property state, which is somewhat different than many other states. In Texas, instead of dividing your marital property evenly down the middle, the court will consider your marriage in relation to its unique circumstances and will determine a “just and right” division of property. Thus, if the court determines that one or the other of you has debt that is solely attributable to you, it may so assign the debt in the division of marital property. There are generally three questions the court will carefully consider in determining whether debt is shared marital debt or individual debt:
Did you or your spouse incur the debt?
Why did you or your spouse incur the debt?
When did you or your spouse incur the debt?
Shared debt or debt that is assigned solely to you will obviously affect your financial situation once your divorce is finalized. If your spouse has personal debt, it is in your best interest to have it so assigned by the court.
The Debt You Share
There are certain debts incurred during a marriage that the courts routinely categorize as shared marital debt. These typically include basic familial necessities, including shelter, food, clothing, and medical care. Even within these categories, however, there is some variance regarding debt allocation.
Discretion of the Court
The court maintains the presumption that both of you share liability for the debt incurred during your marriage, so you may have to build a case that supports your claim that you are not responsible for your divorcing spouse’s debt. The division of debt can be even more complicated than the division of assets and can play an even more critical role in your financial future. If you have questions regarding marital debt, you need experienced legal counsel.
The Division of Debt and Its Implications
It is important to recognize that even if the court assigns debt to your ex in your divorce settlement, this does not preclude the debtor involved from pursuing you for repayment if your name is associated with the debt and if your ex fails to keep up with the payments. The implications of debt in a Texas divorce can be vast, and they are not something you want to leave to chance.
If Your Divorce Involves Significant Debt, Consult with an Experienced Central Texas Divorce Lawyer Today
Significant debt complicates the already-complicated divorce process. The experienced divorce attorneys at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas are here to help. Our dedicated legal team will guide you through the process while aggressively advocating for your rights and best interests. For more information, please contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.