Three Debt-Related Tips To Remember During Divorce Proceedings

Posted on: 3 August 2018


When you're going through a divorce, it's easy to be focused on the assets that you and your spouse currently share that you'll soon be dividing. However, you should also give some thought to your collective debts. Debt might not be something that you enjoy talking about, but there's no better time to do so than now. Together with your divorce attorney, you and your spouse can go over your debt and come up with plans on how to divide it fairly. Here are three debt-related tips to remember during this time.

Don't Forget Any Of Them

The average person may instantly recall his or her larger debts, such as credit card debt, but may not always be able to list each debt that he or she is facing. This can be a problem during a divorce, because the last thing you want is to get your divorce finalized and then remember that you have to pay down a debt that you incurred to help your spouse. Take some time to go through all of your recent bank statements, and list every debt that each of you has. Don't overlook debts for which there may not be bank statements too, such as money that you may owe family members.

Consider Ownership Of Debts And Income

It's likely that you each incurred different debts when you weren't contemplating divorce, so give some thought to who should keep each debt and why. Don't forget to evaluate your respective incomes. If your spouse has technically incurred more debt than you, but you make more money and have been helping him or her to pay down the debt, it's fair for you to continue to do so to some degree. This is a topic for which an experienced divorce attorney will be valuable, as navigating this situation on your own may seem daunting.

Share Child-Related Debts

It's sensible to divide the debts in a manner that each of you sees fit and work on paying them down at whatever rate you each choose. However, if you have debts that relate to your children — for example, medical bills, schooling bills, or other comparable debts — you should agree to share them. The split doesn't need to be 50/50, but you should work out a plan that will allow both of you to make regular payments. It's easy for a debt to get overlooked during a divorce, but you don't want to make an already difficult situation more costly because of unexpected interest expenses.