How will debt affect my divorce?

| Jun 11, 2020 | Family Law

Nearly half of U.S. marriages end in divorce. But separating from your spouse can entail a lot. That’s because married couples can accumulate many things during their time together. In some cases, those can include assets like a home, furniture or a car. In other instances, it may be credit card debt. Dividing this type of debt in a divorce can be complicated, as who accumulated the debt often determines who pays it.

How debt liability works in Tennessee

Tennessee is an equitable distribution state, meaning courts usually determine the division of assets by what’s fair rather than by what’s equal. If couples share debt in a joint account, courts typically consider both spouses liable for the payments. On the other hand, if spouses hold debt solely in their name, they are usually individually responsible for them.

However, there are other credit card debt issues that can get more complicated. For instance, if your spouse racked up expensive purchases on a credit card in your name, creditors can still request those balances. Even if you didn’t accrue the debt yourself, creditors might not cooperate if you ask them to transfer the payment to someone else. Luckily, you can pursue your spouse in court to hold them accountable for the debt. An attorney can help evaluate your situation and take an approach that works best for you.

Can I make my spouse pay through our divorce decree?

Divorce decrees are documents that typically rule the final judgment in a divorce case. If you can prove that your spouse accumulated debt in your name, a judge may place liability on them to owe all or a portion of the debt. However, if your spouse doesn’t make any payments, creditors can still come after you.

Rebuilding your finances is still possible

Legal separation can be taxing on anyone. And if credit card debt plays a role, that can add to an already tense conflict. Fortunately, you have the opportunity to rebuild your financial life and get back on track when it’s all said and done.