Throughout your marriage, you may have incurred several debts, which might be challenging to sort through. To avoid being forced to pay for debts that both you and your partner own, there are several things you should keep in mind.
Common Issues That Might Arise
You may own several types of debt, such as credit card debt, a mortgage, or a car loan. With a credit card, your agreement may be to pay off half of the credit card debt. However, your spouse might need to pay their portion of the debt. The credit card company will not necessarily honor the agreement you have with your spouse and might engage in debt collection activities against you.
For debts backed by collateral, you might need to take control of the debt to protect the asset. For instance, if you own a house or a car, you must assume control over the debt to avoid losing the asset.
How an Attorney Can Help You
If you are still determining how debt division should be handled through your divorce, it's essential to discuss this with a divorce attorney. They will help you understand how the laws in your state will affect your division of debt. They will explain the options available when handling your debt, such as whether filing for bankruptcy will affect your divorce.
How to Negotiate Your Debt
You might disagree with your ex about how your debts should be divided. A divorce attorney can assist you in negotiations. They may encourage you to reach an agreement with the help of a neutral third-party arbiter.
If you cannot agree, you might need to litigate it in court. A divorce attorney can assist you with this by helping you prepare for court and by representing you in court.
What to Expect in Court
In court, the judge will determine how to divide your debts. They will base their decision on the type of debt, how you incurred it, who benefited the most from it, and the ability you and your spouse have to pay for it.
The judge will probably ask questions to help better understand your debts. Your divorce attorney will help you prepare to answer these questions and will also assist you in gathering documents you'll need to present in court, such as tax returns, financial statements, and documents pertaining to your loans. Your attorney will also ensure that your legal rights are protected and will make arguments on your behalf to increase the chances that you will benefit from the ruling.
For more info, contact a local divorce attorney.