As a Utah divorce is negotiated and debated, property division is one of the most prominent issues that needs to be resolved.
Frequently, this is considered in the context of bank accounts, financial portfolios, real estate, automobiles, collectibles and more. These are categorized as assets.
There are other factors that must be assessed in a divorce even though people might prefer not to think about it: debt division. Much like property, debt will also be divided. As with any other aspect of a divorce, it is imperative to understand how debts are handled to avoid any missteps.
The basics of dividing marital debt in a divorce
With debt, the circumstances will largely dictate how debt division is addressed. For couples who are on relatively good terms, they might be able to negotiate an amicable settlement of their debts.
If they are not on good terms or there is disagreement as to who should be responsible for a debt after the marriage is dissolved, then it will likely be more complex. If there is a mortgage or an automobile loan and one person wants to keep the property, then that person will generally be responsible for it.
If there are joint debts like credit cards for family use, both will be responsible for it. However, if one party accrued major debts without the agreement of the other, then the spouse who accumulated it could be held responsible for paying it.
The court can make its order as to how the debt will be divided, but it only applies to the spouses. In other words, the creditor does not need to abide by any family court decision in seeking to collect what it is owed. It can pursue either party if they are legally obligated to pay.
This is a crucial reason why there should be an agreement regarding debt.
Having experienced assistance can be key with divorce issues
Of course, during a divorce, it is preferable if the parties can reach agreement on their own and avoid acrimony.
Unfortunately, that is not always possible and debt can be just as complicated and problematic as property division. In family law, it may be essential to have experienced assistance from the beginning.