Once you determine that your marriage is over, there are many things you have to consider. A primary focus of the divorce process is often property division. While most people are primarily concerned about marital assets, this process also includes dividing marital debts.
The debts you will have to handle during divorce are the ones that are considered joint, which means those that were obtained during the marriage. From credit cards to mortgage debt, if you are divorcing, managing your joint marital debt is a process that will require thoughtful consideration.
Assigning debts during property division
Debts, as well as assets, are divided equitably in Rhode Island. During a litigated property division process, all marital property is divided based on what’s fair, not necessarily what’s equal. Sometimes, debts can be used to balance out assets, so the settlement is considered fair at the end of the day.
Creditors don’t have to abide by a divorce order
Creditors don’t have to abide by a property division settlement because divorces are a civil matter. This means that even if your ex is assigned a debt during the divorce, a creditor can still come to you to satisfy the debt as long as it is a joint debt and your name remains associated with it. Additionally, you may incur a negative hit on your credit report if your ex doesn’t pay for their share. This could result in returning to court with your ex to get the property division order upheld.
Selling assets to pay off debts during property division
If you don’t want to worry about whether your ex will pay joint debts, there might be another option. Consider selling assets to pay off joint debts as you make your transition into single life. This way, you and your ex won’t be burdened by these concerns, if getting your debts settled at this time is an option.
Considering all options when working out property division terms during your divorce is beneficial. This may be easier if you seek legal guidance as proactively as possible.