All marital assets and property in Massachusetts are divided equitably between spouses. Marital debts are also distributed in the same way. Thus, divorce courts may take into account several factors when determining what’s fair in debt allocation between divorcing spouses. If there is debt involved in your divorce, consider hiring a Boston divorce lawyer to help protect your interests. Your attorney may be able to communicate with your spouse better than you do. The better both parties communicate, the sooner your divorce will be finalized.
Marital vs Separate Debt
If a spouse incurs debt before marriage, they are responsible for it following a divorce. Debts brought into the marriage are treated as marital debt. This is the case even if the debt is in the name of just one spouse and the other spouse did not know about it. Also, debts can be marital when they benefit the marriage like loans for a family home renovation or a car purchase.
Marital Debts: Equitable Distribution
Family courts consider many factors when distributing marital debts equitably. These include how long the couple has been married, their standard of living during their marriage, their possible income and earning capacity, their age and health, as well as the value of their marital assets.
When a spouse uses a martial asset through misconduct like using a joint credit card to pay hotel bills for their extramarital affair, the debt incurred can be treated as a separate debt. Thus, the spouse who incurred the debt is responsible for it. Thus, it’s important to make sure that all related evidence is brought to the court’s attention. Alternatively, a divorce lawyer can negotiate privately to try to settle debt problems without going to court. This prevents some information from being available to the public.
If you are going through a divorce and want to protect your interests, ensure you hire a divorce attorney. The best attorney will make sure debt distribution during divorce is reasonable. Even if mediation can resolve your problems, a lawyer can give you advice on your legal rights and help you create a plan to ensure your future is protected. And if you end up with a contested divorce, your attorney will be there for you in every step of the divorce process.
During litigation, a judge will decide the equitable distribution of marital debt. Litigation works for those who can’t set their differences aside to resolve their divorce in a civil spicecinemas way.