Dividing Debt in a Texas Divorce
When you obtain a Texas divorce, your shared marital assets will be assessed and divided between you and your ex. Just as significantly, however, those debts that you incurred during your marriage will also be considered when dividing your community estate. If you are considering divorce and you share significant debt with your spouse, the issues regarding debt division can be complicated and can quickly escalate. Consequently, it is in your best financial interest to seek experienced legal counsel.
Debt Division In Texas
Texas looks at each marriage individually when allocating the division of debt in a divorce, rather than equally dividing all debt incurred during the marriage between the two spouses. Texas courts will consider the individual circumstances of your shared debts in the process of dividing them to determine whether they are part of the community estate. If the court determines that specific debts are attributable to or based solely on one spouse, that debt may be assigned to that spouse in the divorce. In a Texas marriage, in other words, all debt is not created equal, and the courts will generally assess the answers to several important questions when determining whether the debt is shared or not:
- Which party incurred the debt?
- Why was the debt incurred?
- When was the debt incurred?
Some debt incurred during a marriage is routinely considered shared debt by the courts, and this includes debt incurred when one spouse acts as the other’s agent and debt that was incurred to cover on basic necessities. Such basics generally include food, shelter, clothing, and medical care. There are, however, some gray areas within these categories.
The Court’s Discretion
The division of debt in a Texas divorce can be considerably more complicated than the division of assets. In fact, Texas courts attempt to divide debt fairly and equitably rather than equally. The courts maintain a presumption of shared liability between both spouses that may have to be disproven before you can escape liability for your spouse’s debt. Furthermore, even if a significant debt is assigned to your ex, the debtor is not precluded from coming after you for repayment (if you are associated with the debt and if it goes unpaid). Debt division in a Texas divorce can quickly become complicated. Retain an experienced family law attorney to help you navigate this difficult terrain.
If Your Divorce Includes Significant Shared Debt, Consult With An Experienced Richmond, Texas, Divorce Attorney
If you are facing a Texas divorce, you need an experienced Richmond, Texas divorce lawyer who will knowledgeably guide you through the process with skill and compassion. To discuss your case with just such an attorney, contact the Vendt Law Firm, P.L.L.C., today. Attorney Frank J. Vendt is committed to protecting your rights, addressing your debt-division issues, and resolving your divorce as favorably as possible. To schedule a consultation with Mr. Vendt, call our office today at (832) 276-9474 or email us through our online contact form.