Understanding Division of Debt in a Divorce

Divorce is both emotionally and financially difficult. You will need to create a custody plan for your children if you are going through a divorce. Additionally, you will need to divide marital assets, such as your bank account, cars, and home, with your spouse.

Your spouse and you may have a joint debt on credit cards, car loans, or mortgages. You must divide marital assets when you divorce.

It is possible to wonder how debt is divided in a Texas divorce. Bolton Law has helped many clients to plan how to divide assets and debts during a divorce. Get in touch with a reputable divorce lawyer with us at 281-351-7897 today.

Community Debt

Before you can determine whether the debt is part or separate from the marital estate, it is necessary to first decide how debt should be divided in Texas. Texas is a state with community property. This means that spouses share most of the marital property they acquire during the marriage.

Both marital assets, as well as liabilities, are included in the marital estate. This means that any debt incurred during the marriage is subject to division among the spouses after divorce. Credit cards, car loans, and mortgages are all examples of marital debt. Some debts may be separate and will not follow the spouse who has filed for divorce.

Separate Debt

Separate debts are not part of the marital property. Separate debt is not part of the marital estate. It belongs to the borrower spouse only. Separate debts are those that one spouse has incurred before marriage.

A prenuptial arrangement is used commonly to identify the separate and common property. You may also be able to specify that any debts acquired during marriage constitute separate property.

Be aware that just because a spouse has a debt, it does not mean it is separate. It is likely to be community debt if it was acquired during the marriage.

A couple arguing over debt during a divorce

What if my spouse incurred most of the marital debt?

In Texas, spouses are generally split equal amounts of debt. There are sometimes exceptions. A court must divide marital assets and liabilities in accordance with the law. Texas courts have found that 50-50 divisions of property and debt are not always “just and correct”. The court will consider many factors when deciding if the marital property or debt should be divided differently. If you are unable to determine if there is a case for a “justified” division of debt, a family attorney will be able to help you. This is especially true if your spouse was the one who accumulated the debt.

Debt division options

How is Texas debt divided during a divorce? There is no simple answer to this question. An experienced family law attorney can help you find the best solution. There are several options available for splitting debt during a divorce:

  • Divide the property and debt equally down the middle
  • Agreeing not to sell a joint property or pay marital debts.
  • Each spouse agrees that they will assume any debt attached to community property (e.g., car loan goes with the car);
  • Because one spouse has primary physical custody, the other spouse is entitled to a greater share of the debt.

A court will generally approve any agreement between spouses. If you are unable to agree, the court will order a court divorce. Bolton Law can help you strategize debt division during your divorce. Our team offers honest, compassionate advice for clients who are going through a divorce or other family-related problems. Call today at 281-351-7897 to schedule a consultation.