People may hear a lot about the process of splitting up assets in a divorce, but talking about splitting up the outstanding debt gets less attention. Nevertheless, it’s an important aspect that must be addressed when a couple decides to end their marriage. An attorney practicing family law in Auburn Indiana helps clients who feel that the amount of debt they may be responsible for is unfair because it was accumulated by the spouse.
Indiana is not a community property state, so the law does not require an equal division of all assets owned by a married couple. Instead, an equitable division is required, and that does not mean the distribution has to be equal. For instance, the court may allow one person to keep a piece of property he or she owned before the marriage and continued to own entirely separately during the marriage.
In regard to debt, the court will decide whether a debt is marital, meaning it is the responsibility of both spouses, or whether it is separate. A firm offering representation in family law in Auburn Indiana can provide services that help a divorcing couple negotiate the amount of debt each person will pay. Each spouse still needs his or her own separate legal representation. If the couple refuses this type of negotiation, each needs an attorney to provide representation in court, where the lawyer will explain to the judge why the debt is not the responsibility of the client.
If the couple shares a mortgage, they have a few options. For example, an attorney at a firm such as Yoder & Kraus can help a client who wants to stay in the home and buy out the other homeowner but cannot do so immediately. A payment arrangement might be developed that would last for a year, for example. The two individuals also may decide to sell the house, pay off the mortgage and divide whatever money is left.
Other types of debt may not be so straightforward. If one spouse has maxed out two or three credit cards and the other spouse is not named on those cards, the two may still be considered equally responsible because they were married. Someone dealing with these types of concerns may check out the website yoderandkraus.com for further information.
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