After making the decision to move forward with the process of ending your marriage, you know to expect different changes in your life. You may have to move, or you may have to adjust to how often you can see your children. Regardless, you know that you will experience some shifts and changes with your finances. An important area of concern is determining what happens to your joint debt. These balances don’t simply go away, and you don’t want to overlook them.
Finances and money-related issues are some of the most complex matters you will address during your divorce. You know that you will have to address the issue of property division, but you do not want to forget that a fair division of marital debt is just as important. When you know your rights and options, you can make decisions that will benefit you long-term.
Deciding who owes what
In most cases, a court will make a property division decision based on what is equitable for the two parties. This is also true for debt. While it may not be a perfectly equal division of balances that you owe, it should be manageable for both parties. You and the other party also have the option of negotiating an agreement that is agreeable to you both. Regardless of how you approach this issue, the following are examples of how to handle debt during divorce:
- Each spouse is responsible for the balances solely in his or her name.
- Spouses may choose to simply divide their debt evenly between the two of them.
- One spouse may take on a larger portion of the debt burden in exchange for other benefits, such as keeping the family home or a larger settlement.
The terms of a prenuptial agreement, the nature of the debt and other factors could also impact how to divide the debt during a divorce.
Look to the future
There is no single perfect way to address debt during a Pennsylvania divorce. If you are unsure of how you can protect your interests and seek a fair division of debt, you may benefit from speaking with an experienced professional who can provide insight and guidance during this time. An assessment of your debt and other factors can help you understand what you can do to pursue the most beneficial outcome for your individual divorce.