When you get a divorce in the state of New York, all of your assets, including
your debts, will be divided equitably. In other words, everything you
owned with your spouse is subject to division, including credit card balances,
mortgages, auto loans, and other types of debt. Even though the court
will attempt to make the division as fair as possible, that doesn’t
necessarily mean all debts will be split 50/50. According to equitable
distribution laws, the marital assets will be divided fairly, not equally.
If you are concerned about how your debts will be distributed in your divorce,
find out how New York courts handle asset and debt division.
Common Types of Marital Debt
Most people have accrued some sort of debt, whether they’ve taken
out a loan for a new vehicle or a mortgage on their house. The amount
of debt couples have accumulated during their marriage depends entirely
on their own circumstances, as these debts can vary greatly in a case-by-case
basis. When it comes time to divide debts in a divorce, it is important
to evaluate the debt as you would any other asset. In New York, all marital
property is subject to division, whereas separate assets remain under
the ownership of the individual. The same rules apply to debts.
A mortgage acquired during the marriage, for example, will be considered
marital property, whereas student loan debt acquired before the marriage
took place is considered a separate asset. As a rule, most debts acquired
before the marriage will be considered separate debts and will not be
subject to division. However, there are always exceptions in cases where
couples acquired debts together before their marriage, or when the debt
benefited both spouses.
On the other hand, some debts acquired during the marriage might sometimes
be considered separate property if the debt was used to benefit only one
spouse. For example, if one spouse had a credit card used only for their
own purposes, the resulting credit card debt might remain their responsibility
after the divorce.
Some of the most common types of marital debt include:
- Auto loans
- Credit card debt
- Personal loans
Understanding the Division of Equitable Property
In New York, all marital assets will be divided as fairly as possible,
but that does not necessarily mean everything will be split down the middle.
The way in which debts are divided will depend largely on how the other
assets are distributed. For example, if one spouse received more assets,
he or she will likely receive more of the marital debt as well. The court
will also consider the financial situation of each spouse to determine
how much each spouse can afford to pay towards the shared debts.
Do you need help with property division?
Contact The Law Firm of Wayne F. Crowe, Jr., P.C.
today to discuss your family law case with our Bronx divorce attorneys.