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Take care when dividing debts during divorce mediation

Dividing property, deciding custody and determining support issues may be your main concern as you go through the process of going from a married couple to single individuals. These issues do need to be dealt with, and there is often a great deal of advice on how to do that during divorce mediation. However, one important topic that requires just as much attention in your Louisiana divorce is your marital debts.

There is often much more to dividing marital debts than just deciding who takes the MasterCard and who takes the Visa. You need to understand how much is owed and to whom before making any decisions. Your credit report may be a good place to start. Once all of the relevant information is gathered, you can decide how to handle the marital debts.

In a perfect world, you would be able to pay off all debts before filing for divorce, but is not possible in many instances. Depending on what you project your financial situation will be like after the divorce, you may agree to take on the marital debts in exchange for a larger portion of the marital assets, or vice versa. You could decide to divide the debts as equally as possible. Regardless of how you decide to do it, you need to ensure that the debt does not continue to grow and that you do not end up responsible for a debt the other party agreed to assume as part of your Louisiana divorce.

During divorce mediation, you will more than likely begin by dividing the debts. Thereafter, you and the other party will need to take whatever steps are necessary in order to remove the other from the debt, if possible. If it is not possible, your agreement should outline some sort of repercussions to the party who fails to make payments on or pay off the debts each of you agreed to take on since the creditor may continue to seek payment from both parties as long as they remain jointly on the debt.

Source:, “A Guide to the Most Common Financial Issues of Divorce,” Deborah Fowles, accessed on Aug. 27, 2017

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