If you’re getting a divorce, you may be concerned about the debts you and your ex have taken on during your marriage. You may not want to take on debts for your ex, so you need to know what will happen with these accounts during the divorce.
Debt incurred during the marriage is usually considered marital property and must be divided in a divorce. However, some types of debt that were incurred before the marriage may be considered separate property.
Student loan debt can be one of the biggest worries for divorcing couples. It can be difficult to determine whether the debt will be split in a divorce, or if it should remain the responsibility of each spouse.
In most states, including Indiana, the answer to this question depends on how you and your spouse incurred your student loans. It also depends on where you live and when the debt was incurred.
If you and your spouse are in a community property state, student loans taken out during your marriage are considered marital property and are divided equally in a divorce. This is in contrast to equitable distribution states, which treat student loans as separate property unless the couple cosigned or consolidated their debt during the marriage.
This could be a problem if you and your spouse have different educational goals or if your spouse took out a larger amount of debt than you did. In these situations, the court will consider how much money each spouse contributed to the debt and what each person used the funds for, such as tuition, living expenses, study abroad costs, or personal supplies.
Another factor to consider is if one spouse is a higher-earning spouse or if the debt was incurred by the primary breadwinner in the family. In this case, the spouse with a higher income may end up paying a higher percentage of their debt if they have an income-driven repayment plan.
The court will also consider how the student loans were used and who benefited most from them, such as which spouse’s credit they were based on or what the educational program associated with the loan paid for. In this situation, it may be a good idea to hire a divorce attorney to help you navigate the complex property and debt division process.
When a couple gets married, they are generally obligated to use their joint bank account to pay for debts like student loans. However, if you have been making payments on your own for years before the divorce, the debt may not be considered communal property and may remain your individual responsibility. This is especially true if you got a higher-paying job during the marriage, or you were in an education-focused position and paid off a significant amount of your own student loans while working full-time.
Credit Card Debt
In a divorce, how debts are divided can be an issue for both parties. This can be especially problematic with credit card debt because it can have a major impact on your credit score and history.
In many states, including Indiana, the court will consider debts that are incurred during the marriage as marital property. This can include things like credit card debt, student loans and auto loans.
There are some exceptions to this rule, such as if you entered into a pre-nuptial agreement that says otherwise. However, in most cases, debts are considered a part of the marital property and will be divided equally between the two parties.
The court will also look at other factors when deciding how to divide the debts. This includes whether one party took on more debt than the other and how much of the total assets can be used to offset that debt.
Often, this means that your spouse will take on more of the debt and receive a greater percentage of the marital assets to help cover that debt. This can be particularly frustrating if your spouse is a splurge-happy compulsive shopaholic and has run up a significant amount of credit card debt at her favorite clothing stores.
If you have credit card debt in your name and are going through a divorce, the first thing you should do is to get it paid down. This will help protect your credit score and avoid damaging your record with late payments.
Another important way to tackle your credit card debt is to create a budget and stick to it. This will help you to keep track of your spending and make sure that you are not overspending on anything.
Once your budget is in place, it is time to start paying down the debts. This can include reducing the balances on each card, increasing the monthly payments, and paying down the interest.
It is a good idea to talk to your creditor or a financial planner to see what you can do to reduce the amount of money that you owe and to develop a plan to pay it off over time. You may be able to lower your monthly payment or interest rate by agreeing to reduce your minimum balance or by changing your credit card terms so that you have more time to pay off the debt.
Car loans are another type of debt that can cause financial problems after a divorce. If a spouse keeps the car, they will need to make sure that their name is removed from the loan contract and that their ex-spouse’s name is not involved in paying off the balance.
Typically, when a couple goes through a divorce, they will have to divide up all of the marital property, including any debt that was incurred during the marriage. In Indiana, debt is treated equitably when it comes to property distribution. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.
One exception is if the loan was taken before the marriage. The debt is considered nonmarital property and may be split based on its fair market value at the time of the divorce.
A separate exception is if the loan was incurred during the marriage. If it was financed in both names, then the car loan is still considered a joint debt and both parties will have to pay it back.
In this situation, the only way to remove your name from a car loan is by refinancing it in your name alone. Getting a new loan can be difficult, and it can also negatively impact your credit score.
Another option is to simply sign the title over to your ex-spouse and have them take care of any registration and other car-related issues. This can be done at the Department of Motor Vehicles or at your state’s Secretary of State office.
This can be a long and complicated process, but it can help avoid the problem of one person’s name on the loan. It’s a good idea to get advice from an experienced divorce attorney in your area before attempting this step.
If you and your ex-spouse have already signed a divorce decree that orders the car loan to be paid off, it can be difficult to change the terms of the contract. Your creditor, however, might be willing to work with you on this issue.
Generally, if you’re trying to remove one of your ex-spouses from the loan, you will need to contact the lender and explain the situation. They will probably be able to work with you on this issue, but it’s best to seek legal advice from an attorney before taking any steps.
Debt is typically a difficult issue to discuss between spouses, but it can be especially confusing during a divorce. Indiana is an equitable distribution state, so debts and assets are divided based on what seems fair to the court. The court will consider all of the factors, including how and when each spouse acquired each debt.
The majority of debts are considered to be marital property when a divorce is filed, but there are exceptions. For example, student loans that were incurred before the marriage are separate property and aren’t part of the division of marital property.
Another exception is inherited property. Unless you can prove that you received the inheritance solely for your personal benefit, or it was specifically left to you in a prenuptial agreement, an inherited property is not considered to be part of your marital property.
Some inherited assets can become part of the marital estate if they’re commingled with other assets, such as bank accounts or properties that one spouse owned before the marriage but added to the joint account or deed to the home. In these cases, a judge will look at the commingling and determine whether it is fair for the inherited property to be part of the division of marital assets.
In many cases, the judge will divide these assets in a 50-50 split, unless you can present a good argument for an uneven split. In this case, you may need a lawyer’s help to argue against the 50-50 division and get a more favorable outcome.
If you have a large amount of debt that you can’t afford to pay off yourself, it’s important to seek out legal counsel for assistance with debt division in your divorce. In some cases, it’s even possible to negotiate an uneven debt division through a divorce settlement agreement.
Credit card debt is also a common issue when divorcing. If you have significant credit card debt, it’s critical to start paying it off as soon as possible before the divorce is finalized. This is because credit cards are often reported to the credit bureaus and can hurt your credit in the long run, says Robert Friedman, a certified divorce financial analyst.