Property division includes allocating marital debts

Property division includes allocating marital debts

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Property Division on Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

Divorce can be a costly endeavor. After all, as we discussed previously on this blog, marital property is subject to the property division process. While disputes can arise as to what, exactly, qualifies as marital property, there is another aspect to property division that shouldn’t be overlooked: debt.

Some forms of debt are relatively easy to handle during the marriage dissolution process. The party that takes the marital home, for example, will most likely take on its mortgage payments. The same holds true with vehicles still subject to an auto loan. Credit card debt, though, may be more challenging to untangle. This is primarily because neither party wants to take it, as there is no asset attached to it. Also, credit card debt can be brought on by either or both parties. Therefore, figuring out who should pay for what can be challenging.

Also difficult is the fact accounts that are jointly-held can leave both parties susceptible to creditor claims even if a divorce decree indicates that only one party is responsible for that particular debt. For this reason, parties should make sure that what was once marital debt is transferred over to individually held accounts. This can be a pretty simple process, but creditors won’t take this step on their own even if they know that a couple has divorced.

Dividing marital assets can be a challenging process. The stakes are high, setting each party’s financial stage for their post-divorce life. Yet, while the focus is often on assets during the property division process, the allocation of marital debts can have just as profound of an impact. Therefore, Midwesterners who are considering or amidst divorce should think about having a legal ally on their side to make compelling arguments to further the individual’s financial interests.

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