Are You Responsible for Your Partner’s Debts in a Divorce?
Marital debt is a significant factor in any divorce. Debts, like assets, are subject to division as part of the divorce process. But to what extent will you be responsible for your partner’s debts?
Marital versus separate debt
Before your debts can be divided, they must be categorized as marital or separate, similar to your assets. Marital debt is debt that was incurred during the course of the marriage, while separate debt is any debt that existed for either partner before the start of the marriage.
You will not be responsible for any debts your partner brought into the marriage, but you will share in responsibility for paying off debts you incurred together during the marriage.
Creditors may come after you
While the judge overseeing your case will give you a division of debt responsibility that you must follow, it’s important to note that your creditors do not have to abide by this agreement. This means if your spouse fails to make their assigned payments, your creditor may come after both of you.
To protect against this sort of situation, you can add an indemnity clause into your judgment, which allows you to take your ex to court again to be compensated for any money you had to pay a creditor due to their failure to make their assigned payments. This is a common tool used in divorces where there will be a division of debt assigned.
For more information on the debt division process and what you can do to protect yourself against creditors or a spouse who will not pay, contact an experienced divorce attorney with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.