It’s often hard for spouses to decide how to deal with the debts that they accumulated during their marriage when they choose to divorce. Some debts that couples have difficulty splitting up include the mortgage, credit card balances, medical bills and car payments.
The division of debts and assets can be complicated. How this gets dealt with varies by state. Some courts will look at what liabilities and assets the couple had before the marriage. Other states view the division of all debts and assets as being equal. Prenuptial agreements can also play a role in dictating how property gets split up.
Credit card debt is generally the responsibility of the cardholder. Courts generally prefer for the marital home to be sold so that both parties can have a fresh start. Couples that don’t sell their home will need to decide who will pay the mortgage while they’re waiting for someone to buy their home. A husband or wife can allow their ex-spouse to buy out their interest in it as well.
Auto debt can be burdensome in a divorce if both spouse’s names are on the contract. It may be possible for one of them to contact the lienholder and refinance the vehicle in their name only, though.
Obligations concerning medical debt vary based on whether a couple lives in a community property state or an equitable division one like Florida. Judges here tend to consider whether the couple was living together or if they’d already legally separated when the medical debt was acquired.
If your former spouse files bankruptcy, then it could impact you. It could end up on your credit report. If there are joint debts, then they may not be discharged in bankruptcy. Creditors could come after you for payment.
Joint accounts that are still open could be very damaging to your finances. Your former spouse may run up debts on those accounts and then not pay, leaving you on the hook to service those debts. They may also withdraw funds from your account without your consent.
Financial problems are one of the leading reasons why couples get divorced. It’s a factor that slows couples down when they try to settle their divorce as well. You may want to have a property division attorney negotiate on your behalf if you hope to settle your Fort Myers divorce case quickly and on the most favorable terms.