What happens to debt when you divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2020 | Divorce |

When you and your spouse split up, you need to figure out who gets to keep what. You also need to determine what happens to any debt you have when the marriage ends. Depending on circumstances, dividing up debt may involve a lot of finger-pointing and he said, she said, but in the end, whether you are responsible for it is relatively easy to determine. 

According to Bankrate, whether you are legally responsible for debt when you divorce depends on whether you applied for a loan together in the first place and whether you signed the loan paper. 

Understanding when the responsibility is yours

If you and your ex applied for a mortgage loan together, for example, and both of your names are on the mortgage, then yes, you have a legal obligation to take care of it. Similarly, if you served as a co-signer so that your ex could get a loan for a car or something, you are likely also at least partially responsible for the associated debt. 

Even if you co-signed for your ex with an agreement in place that he or she would assume responsibility for the debt, such an agreement may not hold up in court. However, there are some steps to take that may help eliminate additional financial hardships. 

Protecting your finances amid divorce

You may not be able to do much about debt you already accrued together during your marriage. However, it may serve you well to remove your name from any shared credit cards as soon as you begin divorce proceedings to prevent accruing any more debt together.