Debt Distribution in Divorce
Distribution of debts can be one of the most difficult factors of separation. You should consider your own best interests when making these decisions.
Having debt is very common in American society. Most married couples have mortgages, student loans, and credit cards that are used for various expenses. When going through a divorce, both spouses may be too consumed mourning the end of their relationship to address many important issues. One issue that must be considered is how and what debt will be distributed after the divorce is finalized.
The Pittsburgh divorce lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC understand that this can be a sensitive topic. No one likes to talk about money, and trying to assign blame for a marital debt can be perceived as antagonistic. Attorney Anthony Piccirilli can help protect your interests and ensure that you aren’t shouldered with an unfair amount of marital debt.
Call (412) 471-5100 now to see how your financial rights can be protected.
How Courts Treat Debt Distribution in Divorce
If a couple is unable to determine how debt and property should be distributed on their own, a judge can issue a court order. The court will weigh a number of factors in order to determine how certain debts and assets will be divided. In most situations, a judge will attempt to assign both debts and assets equally. However, debt may be used to compensate for more property being awarded to one spouse. If a spouse is given more than half of the marital property, they might also be assigned more than half of the debt for the sake of fairness. This practice tends to equal out the value of the property that each spouse is awarded.
When determining how debts will be distributed during a divorce, the following factors are often taken into account:
- The duration of the marriage
- Whether or not either spouse could benefit from an unequal debt distribution
- The net monthly income of each spouse
- The number of incomes available to each spouse, such as retirement and medical benefits
What Happens When Your Former Spouse Refuses to Pay?
In many cases, one spouse may refuse to pay the debts they were assigned in the divorce agreement. When this occurs, the creditor may attempt to harass both parties if both names are listed on the account. While this may be unfair, it is meant to protect creditors and lenders. The only action that can be taken in this situation is petitioning the court. You must inform the judge of the situation and ask that the divorce agreement be enforced. If the other party is unable to pay the debt, they may have to face certain consequences, such as fines, jail time, or both. If you felt pressured into paying your former spouse’s debt, you can notify the court and be reimbursed.
Contact Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC
When you get married, you never want to believe that your relationship could end in divorce. If the marriage does end, you may not know where to begin. After all, the process involved with finalizing the separation can be confusing, with processes existing for each issue that must be resolved. At Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC, our Pittsburgh divorce lawyers know how stressful handling sensitive financial issues in a divorce can be. By utilizing his considerable experience in debt distribution matters, attorney Anthony Piccirilli can help you navigate the court system to divide your marital debts in a fair and equitable way.