Jacquelyn S. Gonz, Attorney At Law Llc

Dividing debt during a divorce

Money may make the world go round, but it also ruins many relationships. According to CNBC, one of the leading causes of divorce is financial issues, including debt. And debt comes in many different forms including credit cards, loans and bills.

It makes spouses wonder how Missouri courts address debt during a looming divorce. In Missouri, the court divides marital property, including debt, based on what’s fair instead of an equal portion. It means you may receive a large part of debt depending on your role in obtaining it.

Credit Cards

In most circumstances, the only credit card debt you will receive during a divorce is a personal credit card. If you are racking up expenses on a credit card, it makes sense that a judge rules you are responsible for paying back that expense.

However, some couples open joint credit cards during their relationship. It’s up to the state to evaluate how exactly the debt division, but typically, the courts give each spouse a portion of the debt for a joint account.

Mortgage loans

Mortgage loans work similar to joint credit card loans. The courts treat joint assets as shared property, so each spouse receives a fair portion of the asset despite the name on the loan. For mortgage loans, it’s more likely they will equally split the mortgage if neither spouse owns the house.

However, you can work with your former significant other to avoid mortgage loans by selling the family house. It may be a painful process, but it is a necessary step to prevent huge piles of mortgage loan payments for the next ten years.

Medical bills

Healthcare is more expensive than ever in the United States, and it makes sense you do not want to pay for your spouse’s mounting medical bills. But the division of medical bills is tricky to predict in equitable division states. The judge often weighs several factors including if you were living together at the time of treatment, financial impact it has children and the severity the debt places on both spouses.

In some circumstances, you might receive zero part of the medical debt. In other situations, you may still receive half of the bill. That’s why it is so crucial for you to understand your financial situation before you step into a courtroom.

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