When two spouses make the decision to file for a divorce, one of the questions most frequently asked is how assets and property are to be divided. However, it is just as crucial to understand how debts will be divided, especially given how common it is for couples in the United States to owe excessive amounts of money, whether it be a mortgage on a home, a loan for a car, or unpaid credit card bills. This might seem like a big deal when you are facing those debts together with two sources of income, but it can become a major problem once the bills get divided.
Splitting the Bill
As part of the divorce judgment, you and your spouse’s assets and debts will be divided. To accomplish this, both spouses will need to provide financial data to paint an accurate picture of your economic position. In most cases, the court will attempt to divide assets and debts equally, or use one to balance out the other. If a spouse receives more property, that spouse might also be assigned a larger share of the debt. If a prenuptial agreement is in place, however, this will dictate how debts and assets are to be divided.
What if My Ex-Spouse Does Not Pay?
In some cases, people either cannot or choose not to pay the debts assigned to them in a divorce settlement. If your ex-spouse does this, the creditors might come after you, despite the fact that you were both originally responsible for the loan. To address this situation, you can petition the court to enforce the divorce agreement, which will prompt your ex to appear in court. During his or her court appearance, your ex will have to explain why he or she is not following the order and might face a punishment that includes a fine or jail time.
If you have debt and are considering a divorce, the best option is to simply clear it before or during your divorce. Otherwise, the situation can potentially become complicated if your spouse fails to pay his or her share.
Jackson MS Family Law Attorneys
At Shows & Smith Law Firm PLLC, we are experienced, solution-focused, and committed to helping clients effectively resolve a wide range of matters. If you are in the midst of a divorce, reach out to our legal team today.
Contact us at (601) 809-4144 to schedule a free consultation.