It is common for people to accumulate some type of debt throughout their lives. Some of that debt may be good, like a mortgage or auto loan, and other debt may not be so favorable, like high credit card debt. No matter the type of debt involved, many Utah residents likely wonder how debt is divided during divorce.
Like assets owned by the parties involved, debt is divided during marriage dissolution proceedings, and just like asset ownership, determining who is responsible for certain debts can be tricky. If a couple both signed a loan agreement, both parties are responsible for that debt. However, the court could decide that one party will take on the responsibility for that debt while the other party handles another liability. It is important to remember that the lender does not have to abide by the court order and could still come after either spouse for payment in the event that the account gets behind.
Because joint debt can become the responsibility of either spouse, it is a smart move to close joint credit accounts as soon as possible after deciding to divorce. This step could help prevent the other party from accumulating a lot of debt that his or her spouse could end up on the hook for. If parties are worried about ending up responsible for their spouse’s bad spending habits, records of spending could bolster an argument as to why one party should not have to bear the burden of the other’s debt.
Debt can cause problems for anyone in any predicament. Unfortunately, it can become a complicated matter to address during divorce. If Utah residents are concerned about handling this issue effectively, they may want to discuss this particular topic with their legal counsel.