One of the most confusing aspects of a Texas divorce case is determining
the division of debt. When a couple files for divorce, any debts they
have incurred are legally divided by a judge and recorded on the
Final Decree of Divorce.
The distribution of debt can be determined by three questions:
- Is the debt considered community or separate?
- How much is the debt?
- How can the spouses divide the debt?
A married couple can incur two types of debt: separate (owned by one spouse)
and community (owned by both spouses). Any debt acquired prior to the
marriage is considered a separate debt. Separate debt is also determined
by which spouse acquired it. For example, a credit card under one spouse’s
name will still belong solely to that spouse. However, if the credit account
is owned by both spouses, the debt is shared and must be divided.
The best option for a divorcing couple is agreeing on how to split their
community debts in advance. We recommend hiring an attorney experienced
in divorce law to help you divide the debt prior to meeting with the judge.
However, don’t be hasty and accidentally incur more debt than you
can handle just because it speeds up the process. A judge typically approves
of whatever arrangement a divorcing couple decides upon. If you and your
spouse can’t come to an agreement, then the judge will determine
a 50/50 split which may not work in your favor.
Unfortunately, if one spouse is unable to pay off their debt following
the divorce, creditors can still collect from their ex. The ex who is
forced to pay the debt only has the option of suing their former spouse
for being unable to pay what the court decreed.
Your Legal Options
The division and settlement of debt can be a very confusing process. If
you are facing a
divorce mired in debt, it is crucial for you to seek experienced legal counsel.
The Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny has 30 years of experience in assisting
clients who are striving for a favorable debt division agreement.
Contact the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny
today at (713) 936-2300 for more information.