Amicable separations are becoming more common among married couples here in Louisiana and elsewhere. As a result, more people take advantage of the uncontested divorce option in lieu of the traditional, more adversarial, courtroom battle. Even so, couples taking advantage of the less contentious option still need to remain vigilant in order to preserve their financial security in the future.
This is because after the property is divided, the debts need to be divided as well. In most cases, the longer a couple has been together, the more debts they share. Since Louisiana is a community property state, this means that the courts will view all of the debts incurred as marital and joint. This means that each party is responsible for all debts incurred during the marriage.
Even if only one spouse’s name is on the debt, both spouses may still be considered legally responsible for it under Louisiana law. Therefore, unless the parties split their debts, creditors may still look to the other party for payment regardless of which spouse agrees to assume the debt as part of the divorce. Each party may want to take the necessary steps to be taken off each debt assumed by the other party, if possible.
When negotiating a settlement during an uncontested divorce, each party may want assurances that the other party will have the one not paying the debt taken off it. If that is not possible, watching credit reports and staying in touch with the creditor could prevent a financial catastrophe. On occasion, it may be necessary to take a former spouse back to court for not paying the debts he or she agreed to pay as part of the divorce settlement.
Source: fool.com, “You Could Get Stuck With Your Spouse’s Debt in Divorce“, Christy Bieber, Nov. 16, 2017