In a Texas divorce, marital debt equally belongs to each spouse but may be divided in a “just and right” manner. This means that each spouse will be responsible for their own debts but may also have to take on some of their partner’s debt if the court deems it equitable to do so.
How Do the Courts Divide Marital Debt?
When deciding how to divide marital debt during a divorce, the court will consider factors such as each spouse's income and liabilities, whether one spouse caused any increase in the other's debt, who paid for what debts prior to separation, and any special circumstances that would make it inequitable for one spouse to bear the burden of all or most of the marital debt.
While some states seek an equal division of marital debt between spouses, this isn’t the case in Texas. Ultimately, the courts seek to ensure that neither spouse is unfairly liable for debt they aren’t responsible for incurring and/or didn’t benefit them during marriage.
Just as certain assets may be kept separate from consideration during property division, so too can certain debts. Divorcing couples should keep in mind that these debts can’t be divided upon dissolution of marriage or modified after a divorce has been finalized.
Separate debt can include student loans, which remain under either spouse's name until they are paid off in full; child support arrears which must be paid off according to previous court orders; and some tax liability obligations that a court order can’t change.
Creditors May Still Collect on Joint Debts from Either Spouse
When dividing up marital property and debts in a Texas divorce, it is important to note that any joint accounts or loans need to be closed before they can be split between spouses.
This includes credit cards, mortgage payments, car loans, and other financial accounts where both spouses are listed as owners or signatories on loan papers. Furthermore, creditors may still demand payment from either party regardless of whether they were ordered in court to pay off certain debts.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance
Divorce can be a difficult process, and few things are as contentious as how to divide marital debt during divorce. In Texas, it is important to understand the laws that govern the division of debt in a divorce, as this can have a huge impact on your financial future and the well-being of both parties.
Kay Polk, Attorney at Law can provide the legal insight and services you need to ensure your rights and interests are fairly considered during your divorce. With assistance from our experienced divorce attorney, you can feel more confident about achieving an agreeable outcome when it comes to dividing marital debt.
Schedule a consultation today! Contact Kay Polk, Attorney at Law online now to get started.