31 Mar Debt and Divorce in Texas
When most people think of going through the legal divorce process, they start to think about who will get what. Who will get the house? Who will get valuables? Who will get custody of the children? Who keeps the dog?
However, in addition to dividing up all of the things that both parties tend to want, you will also need to divide up any debts as well. In the state of Texas, both community property and debt is divided during the divorce. Community debt is defined as any debt that you or your spouse incurred during the marriage. The law states that any community debt (and community property) should be divided in a way that is “just and right” during the divorce.
For example, if one spouse is not working outside of the home and has full custody of the children, the other spouse may be required to pay off more of the marital debt in addition to their child support and/or spousal maintenance payments.
Keep in mind, this does not always mean the debt is split 50/50. While it doesn’t always matter who spent the money, the Court often takes into account who spent the indebted money. Separate debt, on the other hand, is any debt that was acquired before the marriage. This debt will not be split during the divorce proceedings.
Keep in mind, just because the Court looks at your debts in one way, it doesn’t mean that lenders view your debts this way. For example, your ex-spouse may agree to pay all future mortgage payments during your divorce. However, your lender will still consider both parties responsible for the home loan, if both parties are on the original mortgage.
This means, if one spouse defaults on the mortgage or misses payments, the other spouse may still be liable, and it can still impact your credit score. This is why, when it comes to mortgage debts, some divorcing couples choose to sell joint properties.
There is no one-size-fits all approach to handling marital debt. To find the best solution for you and your family, you will need to hire a competent attorney to help you through the process. This is the best way to make sure that your finances and your credit score don’t take a major hit following your divorce.
If you have questions about marital debts, the divorce process or any other family law concerns, contact the experts here Navarrette | Bowen. We can help you through every step of the way, including important financial steps such as appraising your assets and liabilities during your divorce. Our team of Texas attorneys is here to help you through this difficult time and to make the divorce process as easy as possible, as you work to move forward.