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Joint debts must be included in property division negotiations

Joint debts must be included in property division negotiations

You might be ready to get your divorce over with, but the property division process is holding you back. Why? Many people don’t realize that they will have to divide debts as well as assets. They tend to focus on getting the assets split and forget about joint debts.

In many cases, people will use the debts to balance out the assets. For example, the person who walks away with the higher value assets might have to take on the marital debt as well so that everything is equitable. The person who doesn’t need to pay the debts might be happy, but that could be short lived.

Credit card companies, and creditors in general, aren’t bound by the terms of your divorce. This means that they don’t have to abide by the agreement. If your name is on the account and your ex doesn’t pay, the negative marks can go on your credit report, and the creditor can come after you to get paid.

There are two primary ways that you might be able to avoid this type of issue. One is that each person transfers all debts they are responsible for into individual accounts so that the joint accounts can be paid off and closed. The other way is that assets from the marriage are sold off, and the money gained is used to pay off the debts.

It is important to think logically about how credit card debt and other considerations in the property division process might impact you in the future. This contemplation can help you to determine how to handle the complex process of trying to figure out the terms of the end of the marriage.