Understanding How Debt is Divided in a Divorce

Understanding How Debt is Divided in a Divorce

Understanding How Debt is Divided in a Divorce


Divorce can be an emotionally challenging time, but it can also be financially challenging. Apart from splitting assets, spouses also need to split debts. Dealing with the division of debts can be an overwhelming experience, but it's an essential part of the divorce process. Understanding how it works can help you prepare for what's ahead and avoid any legal complications down the road. In this blog post, we'll discuss how debt is divided in a divorce and help you understand everything you need to know about the process.


1. Community Property vs Separate Property.

In general, the way that debt is divided during divorce proceedings depends on the law that a particular state follows with regards to property division. Some states work with what is referred to as "community property" rule, which envisions that assets and debts accumulated during the marriage belong to both parties equally. Other states work with what's called the "equitable distribution" rule, which aims to provide both parties with a fair share, taking into account their respective contributions during the marriage. Under equitable distribution, each spouse's property is divided equitably, which, in some cases, may not be an even split.

2. Who is responsible for the debt?

Several factors determine which spouse will be responsible for a particular debt, depending on the type of debt, when it was incurred, and the source of the money that was borrowed. In the majority of cases, both spouses share debts acquired during their marriage. In this case, both spouses are liable for any debts accrued, regardless of who incurred the debt. The same holds for debts taken out in joint names, such as credit cards or car loans.

3. Types of debts subject to division

During the process of divorce and separation, certain debts would have to be resolved through the legal process. These debts include a mortgage, credit card debt, and auto loans. Generally, the law requires a fair division of debt. Depending on the terms and conditions of the loan, creditors reserve the right of terminating jointly held accounts and opening separate ones. It's best to hire an experienced divorce attorney to ensure that divorce settlements are tailored to protect your financial rights.

4. How to Handle Joint Credit Card Debt

When it comes to joint credit card debt entered into during the marriage, the best thing to do is to divide the debt between spouses. If possible, pay off the debt in full, then cancel the cards themselves. If spouses can't agree to the division of the debt, the court may have to step in and make a decision. In some cases, the court may order each spouse to pay an equal amount of the debt, even if one spouse incurred more charges.

5. How a Divorce Attorney Can Help

Divorce can be a complex and challenging process, especially when it comes to dividing property and debts. It's vital to hire an experienced divorce attorney who will guide you through the legal hurdles and ensure that you are treated fairly. An attorney will help you understand your rights, take inventory of assets and debts, and negotiate and advocate on your behalf.



Divorce can be a challenging time for everyone involved, and dealing with the division of debt can be overwhelming. It's essential to understand how debt is divided in a divorce to prepare for what's ahead and avoid any legal complications down the road. If you're looking for an experienced divorce or alimony attorney in Orlando, FL to help guide you through the process, contact Ilvento Law today. Our experienced attorneys will advocate for your rights and interests and ensure a fair division of debt during settlement negotiations.

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