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Dividing debt can be a critical part of a divorce settlement

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2022 | Property Division

When a couple decides their marriage has ended, they often have much more to figure out than who gets what assets. In Virginia, many couples in the throes of divorce also need to discuss how the debts will be settled during the property division process. For a lot of married couples, certain assets like vehicles are in both names as well as financed in both names.

Automobile debt

When each person owns the vehicle, it means both are also responsible for payments made on it. When it comes to property division, it’s typical for each person to keep the vehicle he or she is currently driving. The lender doesn’t care who makes the payments as long as they are made, so if the vehicles are in both names, both individuals may be responsible for repayment. Refinancing might be an option that can allow for the removal of one spouse’s name from the loan and title.

Credit card debt

Another potentially sticky situation can involve credit cards in both spouses’ names. If the credit card is a joint account, the credit card company can hold both people responsible for repayment no matter whether the divorce decree states one person should pay the account balance. Because of this, it may prove wise to close a joint account and transfer the balance to an individual account. Also, if a card is in the name of one spouse with the other listed as an authorized user, the authorized user should be removed from the account.

Where to turn for help and assistance

There are several other debts for which both people may be responsible. When the division of marital assets and debts occurs during the divorce process, who gets what debt can have a significant impact on each person’s financial future. Having experienced legal guidance and support during these times can help prevent any financial missteps and increase one’s odds of achieving the best possible settlement.