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Dividing up marital debts in divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2021 | Property Division |

While money might be a common factor when deciding to end a marriage, financial worries do not go away with divorce. This is partly because Alabama couples still have to address marital debt even after divorcing. It is important to identify marital debts and clearly understand who is responsible for repayment; otherwise, one or both parties could suffer hits to their credit scores.

In general, debt that is incurred during a marriage is marital debt — even if it is only in one spouse’s name. Divorcing couples can try to divide up responsibility for their marital debts on their own. When they are unable to do so, they will need to go before a judge, who will decide for them.

The actual division of marital debt is where things can get tricky. Not only will there be debts with both people’s names, but there might also be debts with just one person’s name. If a judge orders one spouse to pay back a debt with the other person’s name on it, and he or she stops making payments, it will be the other person’s credit score that suffers. Creditors will also come after the person whose name is on the account for missed payments, not the person who is named in the divorce decree.

Divorce is a stressful process, and trying to figure out who should pay back which marital debts does not make it any easier. There are also other matters to attend to, such as child custody, child support and alimony payments. Since Alabama family law can be a complicated matter, it may be helpful to seek guidance from a knowledgeable attorney.