You probably recognize that your community property and assets will be divided in a divorce, but many divorcing couples fail to realize that their debts are part of their assets, which means they must be addressed with the same focus. Property division is an important component of every divorce, and having a better feel for the ins and outs of the process can help you better protect your assets throughout. Another important step you should take is working closely with an experienced Belton divorce attorney.
Community property – called marital property in many states – refers to all those assets that you and your spouse accumulated over the course of your marriage. Exclusions include:
Any assets that you brought into the marriage with you and kept carefully separate throughout (any increase in value over the course of the marriage, however, will likely be considered community)
Any gifts or inheritances that you received over the course of your marriage in your name only
If you acquired it while married – regardless of who made the purchase or whose name it is under – it is community property, and this goes for debts as well as assets. Just like assets, debts are part of your marital accounting when it comes to the division of community property in your divorce.
Forms of Debt
Debt can come in many forms in a marriage, but some of the primary contenders tend to be:
Your home’s mortgage
Mortgages for any additional properties
Student loan debt
Credit card debt
Even if one of you was directly involved in amassing the bulk of your debt load throughout the years of your marriage, it remains part of the spreadsheet depicting your community assets and must be dealt with accordingly.
Making the Just and Equitable Division
When it comes down to the details of dividing your community property justly in a divorce, things can become very complicated very quickly, and if you have considerable debt involved, things can become more complicated still. The court is tasked with dividing your assets (offset by your debts) in a manner that is considered equitable or fair (given the unique circumstances of your marriage). As such, your total assets will not necessarily be split directly down the middle.
Dividing debt equitably in relation to your overall community assets is often complicated, but some of the options the court is likely to consider include:
Selling community property to offset marital debt
Balancing one spouse’s outsize debt with additional community assets
Negotiating more considerable alimony in exchange for the recipient taking on more considerable marital debt
You Need an Experienced Belton Divorce Attorney on Your Side
Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Belton, Texas – is an accomplished divorce attorney who has a wealth of experience successfully protecting the financial rights of clients like you. We are on your side, so please do not wait to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 today.