Options for Dividing Marital Debt


As the level of debt the average couple incurs continues to increase, the division of debts during a Pasadena divorce remains an important issue. There are three options for dealing with debt during divorce.

  1. The couple can decide to pay off all of the debt by using money gained from the sale of marital assets such as their home.
  2. They can continue to service the debt jointly until the obligations have been paid off.
  3. They can divide the debt and have it reassigned on individual accounts so they can each pay a share.

Of all of the options for dealing with marital debt, option 3 is the most common. Paying off the debt would be ideal, but this is often not possible during a time when you now have the same income and twice the living expenses. When couples continue to share debt jointly, their credit history remains connected. If your ex fails to make payments on the debt, the bank or credit card company can come after you to collect what is owed as long as you are both listed as joint debtors on the account. Dividing the debt allows for a clean break, which is generally accepted as the goal of any divorce settlement.

When discussing the division of marital debt, remember that not all debts incurred during a marriage are classified as marital debt. Debts accumulated through gambling, excessive spending, or reckless investment are often not marital debt. Student loan debts are usually, but not always, the responsibility of the person who took out the loan.

How Can We Help?

If you have questions about the division of martial debts or if you know of someone who can use our help, please contact our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our experienced Pasadena divorce attorneys are dedicated to helping clients attain a fair and equitable divorce settlement.