Marital Debts After Divorce
When couples are in the process of dissolving their marriages, they often focus on obtaining a fair division of any marital assets. It is equally important, though, for them to identify their marital debts and to determine how they should be allocated, as depending on how debts are divided, a person may be unjustly burdened with financial liabilities. If you want to end your marriage or recently received papers instituting a divorce, it is critical to meet with an attorney to discuss marital debts after divorce. The experienced Dallas divorce lawyers of McClure Law Group can offer you advice regarding your options and develop a strategy to help you seek the best legal outcome available under the facts of your case.Marital Debts Under Texas Law
Texas treats debts differently than assets in divorce matters. Specifically, while property obtained during a marriage is generally considered marital property, subject to some exceptions, a person is only liable for the debts of his or her spouse if the spouse is acting as the person's agent, or the debt was incurred for "necessaries" which is generally construed to mean essential things like food, medical care, and legal fees. A person will not be considered an agent of his or her spouse solely because they are married. Further, community property is not subject to liabilities incurred by one spouse.
Debts are divided differently than property in Texas divorces as well. A person's separate property is not subject to the obligations of his or her spouse unless another rule of law dictates that both spouses are liable. Additionally, a community asset that is solely controlled and managed by one spouse is subject to the debts that spouse incurred prior to the marriage and to any liabilities imposed on either spouse during the marriage because of tortious behavior. The property will not be subject to the debts of the other spouse that are from before the couple married, however, or to debts either spouse incurs while they are married that is not related to tortious activity.Marital Debts After Divorce
Banks and credit card companies are not obliged to comply with orders issued in divorce cases. As such, irrespective of how a court regards a debt, if both spouses' names are on a loan document or line of credit, the lender will most likely consider them both responsible for making payments. After a divorce is finalized, therefore, it is critical for parties to take the steps necessary to remove their names from any debts they are no longer legally responsible for paying.
For example, if a court awards one spouse the marital home and dictates that spouse is responsible for debts associated with the property, the spouse that keeps the home should obtain a new loan in his or her name only, or the other spouse should seek to have his or her name removed from any loan documents. Otherwise, if the responsible spouse fails to make payments as required by the loan agreement, the creditor may take legal action against both parties. In such instances, the aggrieved party may be able to obtain a judgment against the responsible spouse.Speak to a Knowledgeable Attorney in Dallas
Many couples incur debt throughout the course of their marriage, and if they decide to divorce, it is essential that their financial liabilities are handled in a fair manner. If you or your spouse decided to seek a divorce, it is smart to speak to a lawyer about marital debts after divorce. The knowledgeable attorneys of McClure Law Group take pride in handling emotionally and legally complex matters of property division, and if we represent you, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. We routinely represent people in Dallas, Garland, Richardson, McKinney, Irving, Rockwall, Fort Worth, and Frisco. We also help people with family law matters in cities in Dallas, Grayson, Tarrant, Denton, Collin, and Rockwall Counties. You can contact us by calling 214.692.8200 or using our form online to schedule a conference.