When people think of divorce as it is portrayed in the media, there is a tendency to think about how much money or property each party will be getting as part of the divorce settlement or order. This is natural, because people are fascinated by the sheer amount of money involved when the rich and famous end their marriages.
What is often not considered is that divorce involves not only the division of assets, but also the division of debts. And while the rich and famous may not have to worry too much about significant debts in divorce, many more ordinary couples do.
Credit card debt, for instance, is very common for divorcing couples. The division of credit card debt depends largely on whether the credit card was a joint account or under one name only. In the latter case, it will usually go to the party whose name is on the account. In the former case, laws vary from state to state, so it is important to work with a knowledgeable attorney.
In terms of the family home, division depends on which party is able to afford the payment, and it can also depend on the custody arrangement as well. A party who has full custody of the kids may be more likely to be awarded the home. Couples who don’t want to keep the home can sell it, but that isn’t always possible.
Other types of debt include medical bills, student loans, and car loans. Each state has different laws regarding property division, and it is important for couples to make sure their interests are well represented throughout the legal process. Divorcing couples each have a unique profile in terms of the types and amounts of debt they bring to the table, but in every case it is important that parties understand how to protect themselves and have an advocate at their side.