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Dividing debt in a divorce

Over the course of their marriage, a couple will likely amass numerous assets and debts in addition to what each party brought into the relationship. Unfortunately, if the couple decides to divorce or separate, everything must be properly valued and divided. This can be a complex process leading to heated debates and emotional disputes.

Whether facing an unstable economy or simply trying to grow assets, a couple will likely acquire debt along with any new property. It is crucial that this debt is thoroughly examined in order to reach a proper division. The debts might include:

  • Line of credit
  • Personal loan
  • Credit card debt
  • Mortgage
  • Car loan
  • Student loans

Many couples will have created a prenuptial agreement before their wedding or maintained a postnuptial agreement over the course of the marriage. These marital documents can help to keep property and debt organized when it comes time to divide assets in a divorce. From identifying non-marital property to instructions regarding a business valuation, these documents can be helpful.

Aside from marital documents, it is wise to make a detailed list of debts. In a long-term marriage, complex financial situations can arise and it is important to have a clear understanding of who owes what. Additionally, joint accounts must be examined. From a savings account with both names on it, to a credit card you both use, all of this financial data must be carefully recorded. An experienced family law lawyer can provide guidance through the process of divorce or separation no matter the complexity or duration of the marriage.

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