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What happens to shared debt during a divorce?

A divorce will almost inevitably involve dividing up property. When it comes time to settle the division of a couple's property during a divorce, the parties often focus on who will take possession of high value items such as homes, cars, and jewelry. They may squabble over how financial accounts should be handled and whether certain items of property are marital or separate.

Most will also struggle with the process of deciding how to pay off their shared debts once they are no longer joined by marriage. Like assets, debts can be owned by both of the parties to a divorce. For example, if a husband and wife share a credit card account and build up a substantial balance on it, they may each be liable for the balance's repayment even if they are no longer married. To this end, they may decide during the settlement of their property how and who may be responsible for managing the repayment of the obligation.

Debt cannot simply be forgotten when a couple ends its marriage. Rather, it should be worked into a property settlement and support plan in a responsible way. If a person takes over the repayment of a debt for both themselves and their ex, they may, for example, seek additional support to ensure they have the funds to take care of the shared financial burden.

Georgia residents who wish to end their marriages but who are concerned about how their property and debts will be assigned after their divorces should understand that they do not have to handle it on their own. With the help of family law attorneys they can find confidence in their divorce negotiations and emerge with the resources they need to thrive.

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