Divorce is messy emotionally and financially for most couples parting ways. One of the biggest concerns for many is who will be responsible for which debts. Who decides what’s fair?
is the first step. In Missouri, each divorcing party is required by law to reveal all of their assets and liabilities to give a complete picture of their financial situation. This will include:
After divorce, these remain the sole responsibility of the person who had that debt. Even if the other spouse voluntarily helped to make payments towards the other person’s student loans, credit cards, or other debts during the marriage, they have no legal obligation to do so after the divorce.
Property and debt from the marriage must be split equitably between the parties, no matter whether it’s in your name or your spouse’s name. Marital debt might include the mortgage or rent, utilities, vehicle loans, childcare and credit cards. Arguments can be made that if a debt benefitted only one person as opposed to the family, then it can be awarded to that party.
To work out the division of debt in an equitable manner, consider:
If parties cannot agree together or through their lawyers, a family court judge may decide.
If you are not married, you may have many of the same concerns, but courts are rarely involved. Huffington Post contributor Casey Bond addresses this issue in the article Who Is Responsible for Debt When You Get a Divorce or Break Up? For non-married couples, debts are 100 percent the responsibility of the person who took them. Shared debts must be worked out between the two parties, unless one person takes the other to claims court.
With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Jones Family Law Group, LLC, will provide the legal guidance you need. For questions or to schedule a confidential consultation, contact us today.
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