Fort Worth Division of Debts Attorneys
If you are going through a divorce, you have probably already thought about what you want out of the marriage: the house, kids, cars, boats, and everything else that might be easily identifiable as something worth retaining. But what about debts? No one wants them, so how should they be divided among the parties in a divorce? How do you avoid being saddled with debts that you feel you should not be stuck paying? If you and your partner have financial obligations that need to be divided, the Fort Worth division of debts attorneys at The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC can help protect your financial interests throughout the divorce proceedings. Call us today at (817) 335-9600 to schedule a free consultation.
Important Information About Debts
Debts are complicated, and when dealing with debts in a marriage, they can become an even more complicated matter. If you have concerns about dividing up debts during a divorce, calling an experienced attorney to handle your case will be your first step toward preserving your best interests.
Types of Debt
When dividing debts, either in a marriage or generally, there are two categories you should acquaint yourself with: secured and unsecured debts. Unsecured debts are debts like credit cards and some personal loans. They are not “attached” to property nor should they “go with” a particular piece of property or an asset. Secured debts, on the other hand, are “attached” to property. These types of debts are usually your car loans, mortgage payments, or loans taken out for a specific purpose toward a particular type of property.
This seemingly simple classification is necessary because if a debt is attached to a property, an award of that property to you will also include the liability that comes with it. Unless there is some evidence that the debt should be mitigated or assigned to the other party for a handful of rare reasons, you will incur any debt associated with any property you would like allocated to you. If you feel that you should have property awarded to you without the related debt, or you would like to know how to have some of the debt absorbed by your soon to be ex-spouse, contact us at (817) 335-9600 to schedule a consultation. It may be that your situation calls for some special arrangement, but only an experienced family law attorney can holistically assess your case and tell you what your options are.
Ownership of Debt
Just like in the division of property, some debts are considered separate debts and others are considered community debts. If you went to school and have a personal student loan as a result, the debt would be viewed as a separate debt that would be awarded to you. However, if you and your spouse entered into joint debt agreements or incurred property that has liability attached to it during the marriage, the debt would be subject to division between both of you because of the community aspect of its acquisition. This holds true even if the debt contract only lists one spouse as liable, as the debt was still incurred during the marriage.
While this seems simple, there are some complicated circumstances that can make this analysis less than straightforward, both in terms of classifying the debt and dealing with other issues and claims in the divorce that will affect ultimate ownership of the debt.
Before you try to handle and division of debts alone, contact The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC to speak with an attorney who can help you understand what you are facing and what your rights may be.
Court Considerations in Debt Division
When presented with the inventory of property and debts, a court will initially consider the two types of debt classifications presented above in determining who should be awarded particular obligations. However, other claims or aspects involved in the divorce may offset what that more black and white division of debts would render. For example, a reimbursement claim or a successful claim for a disproportionate division of the estate may result in some liabilities being awarded to you that otherwise would not have been to make everything equally divided in the estate.
A court is occasionally presented with alleged agreements between parties to pay off each other’s debts or some specific debt another party brought into the marriage. Whether the deal was made in a premarital agreement or a separate contract during the marriage, a court will analyze whether the agreement is valid and should be enforced. If you remember anything resembling this kind of situation in your marriage, you should alert your attorney immediately. They will assist you in presenting your argument and evidence to the court.
A court also may take into consideration when and how debt was incurred. Often, in very nasty divorces where dynamics have turned very acrimonious, one party will rack up community debt or use the other party’s personal, separate credit cards to put more debt onto the other party. While their goal may be to leave you with a heap of debt you would not otherwise have had or force you to take the debt with you upon the divorce, you do not need to fall prey to their actions! A knowledgeable family law attorney from The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC can assess your case, show the court that the debt was maliciously incurred, and ensure that you are not assigned a debt that should never have been incurred or allocated to you.
Hire The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC Today
Very few divorces are simple, and ensuring that your best interests are represented and protected in such a complex area of law is only possible if you retain an experienced Fort Worth property division attorney. At The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, we have the necessary knowledge of family law to thoroughly analyze your case, weigh your interests with the law, and handle complex financial matters between parties effectively and successfully. We can protect your rights and make sure you are not unfairly awarded debts during the division of debts portion of the divorce proceedings. Call (817) 335-9600 today to speak with one of our attorneys, and let our firm fight for your best interests.