Are Debts Divided in Divorce?
When going through a divorce, it’s important to understand exactly what you and your current spouse are entitled to. New York State happens to be an equal division property state which means that every marital property gets split equally to ensure a fair and equal separation. But does this apply to debt acquired throughout the marriage? The short answer is, yes. Debt is usually divided in divorce in order to ensure both parties have equal responsibility over these debts. There are some specific factors that must be followed depending on the type of debt that’s in question. Debt can be one of the most frustrating aspects of divorce, so it’s essential that you know specifics about the debts you or your spouse has in order to successfully divide them. If you have questions about how your debt will be divided in divorce, contact our divorce lawyers in Rochester, NY for a free confidential consultation.
Credit Card Debts Divided in Divorce?
Credit card debt is one of the most typical forms of debt that we see during a divorce. Since marital property is considered anything gained or acquired throughout the entirety of the marriage, credit card debt is included throughout this as long as it’s in both of your names.
Thus, if you have a credit card in your own name and pay that off by yourself, this credit card debt will not be split with your ex. The same goes for them – if they have the credit solely in their name and you have no influence on it, you should not be required to pay their credit card debt.
On the other hand, if you have a joint credit card – which is common among spouses – debt will likely be split equally despite who makes payments. This means that you should determine which credit lines are joint and which are individual in order to make the divorce and marital property split simpler and smoother.
Mortgage Debts Divided in Divorce?
The second most common forms of debts divided in a divorce is mortgage debt. A mortgage is a loan upon real estate property. Thus, if you bought a house and took out a loan, this is likely a mortgage. Mortgages are one of the more complicated lines of debt to split throughout a divorce.
Some find that the easiest and most effective way to split mortgage debt is by selling the house and splitting the profits, especially if both parties are listed on the mortgage.
A second option, if you or your spouse does not want to sell the house, is to buy out the other party’s debt. Traditionally in a divorce, mortgage debt is assigned to the person who makes more money than the other spouse, or who has full custody of the children. If that’s the case, the awardee must buy out the mortgage from the other spouse. To learn more, schedule a free consultation with Rochester divorce attorney Michelle Cimino today.
What if Your Ex Doesn’t Pay Divorce Debts?
In some cases, your ex may refuse to pay divorce debts. This can occur even if the debt is joint. Ignoring those payments can harm both of you in the process. After all, if both names are listed on the debt, both parties are responsible.
So, if your ex refuses to pay their owed debts, you are still responsible. For this reason, it may be helpful to request an indemnity clause, or protection against a financial burden, within the divorce decree.
Alternatively, you could petition the courts and request the divorce decree be followed, or else implications like fines or even jail time could occur.
Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Rochester, NY
If you’re going through a divorce and are worried about the debts being divided in your divorce, it may be beneficial to hire an experienced Rochester divorce attorney. They can help you identify how to best protect yourself and ensure the smoothest recovery possible. The Cimino Law Firm is a great law firm with over 20 years of family law experience.
Rochester divorce attorney Michelle Cimino offers free consultations – call us today to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help you and your family.
We represent clients throughout Rochester including Monroe County, Orleans County, Livingston County, Ontario County, Wayne County, Genesee County, and Wyoming County.
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