It’s said that this would be a much better world if more married couples were as deeply in love as they are in debt. While the statement may be amusing to some, the reality is that the average household is tens of thousands of dollars in debt, if not more.
Therefore, when a marriage ends, the division of marital debt is among the most contentious issues since each spouse will likely work to avoid as much financial liability as possible. Here is how things play out in a Georgia divorce when it comes to debt division.
Identifying marital debt is the first step
The first step in dividing marital debt in a Georgia divorce is determining which debts are considered marital debt. Marital debt is any debt incurred during the marriage, regardless of which spouse incurred it. This includes credit card debt, mortgage debt, car loans and other financial obligations.
Factors that determine each spouse’s share of marital debt
Once the court identifies marital debt, it will consider several factors to determine how the debt should be divided. Usually, Georgia courts divide marital assets and debts based on what is fair rather than equal.
The financial status and future needs of each spouse are some of the factors that may influence the court’s decision. The court will also consider any agreements between the couple regarding the debt division like a prenup. If a valid and legally binding agreement exists, the court may approve and incorporate it into the final divorce decree.
Learn more about how things work in a Georgia divorce
You may find yourself in a tight spot if you are left dealing with unnecessary or excessive marital debt post-divorce or if your ex defaults on joint debt assigned to them. However, the end of your marriage should not be the beginning of a financially difficult period.
Understanding the ins and outs of the debt division process and having sound legal guidance can help you address such issues and protect your financial well-being after divorce.