If you are considering divorce, it’s understandable that you may be concerned about how much of your marital debt you will be left with. Taking the right steps in dividing your joint debt is critical to ensuring that your divorce does not leave you with thousands of dollars in liabilities that you cannot afford to pay. The Adams Law Firm has a proven record and is ready to help you now.
Adams Law Firm is here to guide you through the difficult negotiations and decisions involved in dividing your marital debt. Since 1977, our family law attorneys have been guiding individuals through the divorce process with dedication and skill. We have been recognized as leaders in the field of family law and civil trial representation both within the Houston area and nationally.
You need an experienced attorney on your side throughout the divorce process to help you avoid financial hardship caused by an unfair division of your marital debt. Our dedicated Katy asset division attorneys are here to provide you with legal advice and guidance that will help you obtain the best possible outcome from your divorce. Call us at (281) 391-9237 or contact us online to speak directly with one of our skilled attorneys.
How Marital Debt Is Divided in Texas Divorces
To understand how marital debt is divided in Texas, you need to understand the difference between community and separate property.
- Community property is all property (including debt) that is acquired during a marriage. Community property must be divided in a divorce.
- Separate property is any property (including debt) that was acquired by one spouse prior to marriage. Separate property may also be acquired during a marriage as a gift, inheritance, or award of damages. Separate property is not divided in a divorce.
Texas is a community property state. This means that any debts acquired during your marriage need to be divided between you and your spouse in a divorce. Under Texas community property law, debts do not need to be split exactly 50/50 in a divorce. Rather, they must be split “equitably.” However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what an equitable split looks like.
Deciding how to split your debts in a divorce can be very difficult and often requires extensive negotiations. An experienced Texas divorce lawyer can help you navigate these complicated decisions and negotiations. Reach out today, we’re ready to help.
Options for Dividing Marital Debt in a Divorce
There are several options for dividing marital debt in a divorce. These include:
- Split all marital debt and property equally. This would make each spouse responsible for paying half of the debt off.
- Pay off outstanding marital debt before finalizing the divorce. This may require that you and your spouse sell joint property to pay the debt.
- One spouse takes on the marital debt. The spouse who is taking on the marital debt would usually also acquire a larger share of the marital assets.
The best option for dividing marital debt is dependent on your specific circumstances and financial situation. An experienced Katy property division lawyer can help you understand your options and develop a plan that’s right for you.
How Do Lenders View Marital Debt in the Event of a Divorce?
A lender’s right to collect a debt is not affected by divorce. Let’s say that, as part of your final divorce agreement, your spouse commits to paying off a car loan that is held jointly in both of your names. If your spouse misses payments or stops paying the loan, you will be held liable for the debt regardless of your divorce agreement. Additionally, your spouse’s failure to make payments will negatively impact your credit score.
How to Protect Yourself in the Division of Marital Debt
In contentious situations, it’s not uncommon for one spouse to deliberately rack up additional debt before the divorce is finalized. It’s important to be watchful for any excessive spending by your spouse or any new credit cards or loans they take out while your divorce proceedings are going on. If this occurs, these items should be identified and removed from the final calculation of marital debt.
You also need to check the list of debts provided by your spouse very carefully. Under Texas community property law, any debt your spouse incurred prior to your marriage is not your responsibility. Maybe your spouse took out student loans before you were married, or maybe they have a loan on a car they purchased prior to your marriage. By being aware of these “separate” debts, you can ensure that they are not added to your marital debt calculations.
A skilled Texas family law attorney can help you identify community and separate debt in your marriage. We can guide you through the negotiation and decision-making process so that you are not burdened with debts that you cannot, and should not have to, pay.
How Adams Law Firm Can Help
Divorce may be one of the most stressful life experiences you will ever face. Adams Law Firm is here to provide you with a knowledgeable and supportive legal team to guide you through the divorce process. Our skilled family law attorneys will take the time to understand your specific case and the outcomes you are hoping to achieve. We will work tirelessly to get the best possible result for you in all areas of your divorce, from the division of assets and debt to child custody.
With over three decades of experience in practicing family law in Texas, we have an unparalleled reputation for legal excellence throughout the Houston area. We are a small firm that takes pride in our ability to provide personalized service and representation along with outstanding results. We have an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, one of the leading lawyer-rating services. We have also been recognized as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the nation and the Best Law Firm in Katy, Texas.
Contact Adams Law Firm Today
When you are considering divorce, it’s in your best interest to get legal advice as soon as possible. Call us at (281) 391-9237 or contact us online today to speak directly with one of our skilled family law attorneys.