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What happens to your debt during divorce?

Divorce will bring significant economic challenges for both parties, and it is critical to consider all of the factors that may affect one's financial health in the future. While many people have concerns regarding the division of marital property and financial support, it is also beneficial to consider the distribution of marital debt.

Texas is a community property state, and divorce requires the division of all marital property and debt. The family court will divide marital property, including debt, fairly and justly, but not necessarily evenly. In order to ensure the protection of your financial interests, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney.

Seeking a fair portion of marital debt in your divorce

If the court will be determining how to divide your marital property, the final order will likely be close to a 50-50 split. However, a judge is free to deviate from that standard when certain circumstances are present. Some of the most common types of debt to address in a divorce include:

  • Mortgage debt
  • Credit card debt
  • Personal loan debt
  • Medical debt

Student loans that are only in one spouse's name will likely be that person's responsibility, even if both spouses were contributing toward payments during the marriage.

Your lawyer may employ the services of an accountant or other professional to ensure fair treatment and protection of your rights. In some cases, there are circumstances that may affect a debt settlement, but it is crucial to work with your lawyer to present a clear, convincing case to the court.

Protect your rights in and out of court

You and your spouse have the right to settle property division out of court. When seeking to avoid litigation, it is important to consider how decisions made in the present can alter your future. For example, if you accept more marital debt in exchange for the family home or other valuable asset, you must also consider your current income, future expected income and potential tax consequences.

Whether your divorce is going to be heard in court or you wish to settle all matters without litigation, you will benefit from the guidance of an attorney who will advocate for your interests and help you lay the foundation for a strong post-divorce future. The division of marital debt is a complicated matter, but you can secure a settlement that is fair and reasonable.

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