Debts & Divorce: Understanding the Complexities of Dividing Debts

Divorce is a process that’s often difficult and emotionally challenging for couples to navigate, especially when dividing assets and debts. While most couples know that assets acquired during the marriage will be subject to division, many are unsure how debts will be divided.

We will explore the complexities of dividing debts during a divorce, provide guidance on approaching this issue, and discuss how an Atlanta divorce attorney can help.

The Role of the Court in Dividing Debts

Unlike assets, debts are often trickier to divide during a divorce. In fact, it’s up to the court’s discretion to divide debts if the parties cannot come to an agreement. This means that there is no bright line rule when it comes to dividing debts. The court will consider various factors in determining who should be responsible for each debt.

Fundamental Fairness: The Biggest Factor in Dividing Debts

When it comes to dividing debts—similarly to marital property division—it’s all about fundamental fairness. Just because a debt is in one party’s name doesn’t necessarily mean they will be responsible for paying it.

For example, if one spouse ran up a debt having an affair with someone else, that debt is not likely to be considered marital debt. On the other hand, if a debt is a student loan that enabled one spouse to earn income to support the family, that debt may be considered a marital debt.

Ultimately, every case is unique and will be decided based on the facts and circumstances of the case.

Equitable Division in Georgia

In Georgia, debts are divided according to the principle of equitable division – the same principle used in marital property division. This means that debts will be divided fairly but not necessarily equally.

As a result, it’s essential to understand your judges to determine the possible rulings regarding debt division. With three different judges, one case could result in three different outcomes. This is where a knowledgeable Atlanta family law attorney can be incredibly helpful.

Tailored Advice Based on Each Individual’s Debt Situation

At Edwards Family Law, we understand the importance of providing tailored advice based on each divorcing couple’s debt situation. We are familiar with all the judges and courts we practice in, and we use this knowledge to give our clients the best possible advice.

By understanding the nuances of debt division, we can help you make informed decisions that will benefit you and your family in the long run.

Final Thoughts

Divorce is never easy, and dividing debts can make it even more challenging. However, by understanding the complexities of debt division and working with an experienced divorce attorney, you can ensure that your interests are protected.

If you’re going through a divorce and have questions about debt division, please contact us today for help.

Author Bio

Regina Edwards is the Owner and Managing Attorney of Edwards Family Law, an Atlanta family law and estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With more than 21 years of experience practicing law, she is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including divorce, child custody, child support, legitimation, wills, trusts, probate, and Medicaid planning.

Regina received her Juris Doctor from the Tulane School of Law and is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and the Atlanta Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers for six years, as well as being named among the Pro Bono All Stars by the Georgia Bar Journal in 2019.

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