Married individuals who are expecting a divorce have many issues to consider for the future. Your financial situation is one thing that deserves particular attention, and you might wonder how you will handle your debts after the split.
Any debt that you or your spouse take on during the course of your marriage becomes a marital asset. This means that the court will divide your debts in a complicated process that bears further explanation.
How will the court divide your debts?
Divorce courts handle asset division under a principle of equitable distribution. This means that you may divide marital debts evenly between yourself and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, or you can negotiate outside of court for one individual to receive more debt while also claiming more assets. However, the California courts maintain a policy by which a judge must approve any asset division plan even if both spouses mutually agree upon it.
What can you do to improve your marital debt situation?
Going into a divorce with a variety of debts can add unnecessary complications to an already strenuous process. If possible, try creating a plan with your spouse for clearing away some of your debts before moving ahead with the divorce. This is in the best interest of both individuals, as you will each be solely responsible for your share of the debts after the finalization of the divorce anyway.
Debts are subject to the division of marital assets in the same way as finances, property, and other belongings. Keep in mind that while the court will aim to distribute debts evenly, you may still need to plan carefully for future payments on a single income.