Dividing Debts in a Divorce
In a divorce, many people focus on how they will divide their property, assets, and possessions. However, equally as important is how you will divide your debts. South Carolina is an “equitable division” state, which means the law requires spouses to divide all marital property in a fair manner, and the same goes for debts. How much debt you end up with can make a huge difference in your post-divorce financial situation, so you should have an experienced divorce lawyer in Beaufort representing your rights.
Separate or Marital Debt?
First, you must determine which debts are separate and which are marital. If you had a debt prior to marriage in your name only, that debt will likely be your responsibility. The same goes for pre-marriage debts in only your spouse’s name. The following may be considered marital debt:
- Joint accounts obtained pre-marriage
- Joint accounts obtained during the marriage
- Single accounts obtained during the marriage
You may assume that because your spouse took out a loan or a credit card in their name only, they will be responsible for that debt. However, if the debt was obtained during the marriage, it will likely be considered marital debt even if it’s only in one name.
The same goes for any debts that both spouses paid together. For example, if your spouse had a mortgage prior to your marriage, but you contributed to paying the mortgage during your marriage, you may be held responsible for part of the mortgage.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Beaufort You Can Trust
Dividing debts is accomplished on a case-by-case basis, and can be complicated. You need the assistance of an experienced Beaufort divorce attorney to ensure you do not end up with an unfair amount of debt. Please call the Fender Law Firm at 843.379.4888 or contact us online to discuss your situation today.