Just like property or assets, Georgia law classifies debts as marital or separate. Marital debts are typically those that are incurred by either spouse during the marriage. A debt is considered to be a marital debt even if it is only in one spouse’s name, so long as it was incurred during the marriage. Separate debts, on the other hand, are those that were incurred by either spouse prior to the date of the marriage. For instance, it is likely that a spouse who had a substantial student loan debt prior to the marriage would still be solely responsible for that debt in the divorce.
If the spouses can’t reach an agreement as to the payment of marital debts, then the court can determine which spouse could bear responsibility for each marital debt. It is essential, however, that all marital debts be addressed through your divorce proceedings. If your divorce order or settlement agreement doesn’t address a particular marital debt, and that debt is solely in your name, then you could end up being solely responsible for that debt, even if your spouse was partially or wholly responsible for incurring the debt. This is one reason why gathering information about all marital debts through the discovery process in your divorce can be so crucial. It is also why the assistance of an experienced Georgia divorce lawyer can be crucial to properly dividing all marital debts in your divorce.
If you have marital debts, you need to ensure that you are not stuck paying for all of them on your own. The Shaw Law Firm knows how to handle marital debts and can help you work through the process of dividing them in your divorce proceedings. We will evaluate your situation and advise you about the available options in your case.
Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.
Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.