Debts and divorce

Debt is something that countless people in Memphis deal with, and if you are like most of them, it can occasionally lead to some marital strife. Many of those that have come to us here at The Thomas Family Law Firm, PLC in the past have seen such strife impact their marriages to the point of seeking divorce. If that accurately describes your situation, then you may view divorce as a way to get out from under the debts that your soon-to-be ex-spouse has accrued. Reality, however, may not match your expectations. 

Just like many of your assets, debts are considered to be marital property, and thus subject to property division in your divorce. That may leave you shouldering a greater share of your marital debt than you believe you are directly responsible for. Yet the court does not simply divide all debts incurred during your marriage equally down the middle. It does consider each of your individual roles in assuming it. Some of the factors it considers include: 

  • What was the purpose in assuming the debt? 
  • Which of you incurred it? 
  • Which of you benefitted the most from it? 
  • Which one of you is best able to repay it? 

One thing to remember, however, is that simply because your spouse is assigned the responsibility to take care of a marital debt, you are not absolved of liability from it. Indeed, Section 36-4-134 of Tennessee's Domestic Relations Code states divorce does not affect a creditor's ability to proceed with debt collection action against both you and your spouse even when your spouse has been determined to be responsible for a particular debt in your divorce decree. 

You can find out more about managing your assets and debts following divorce by continuing to browse through our site.