Experienced North Carolina Attorney Helps Divorcing Clients Resolve Marital Debt Issues

Knowledgeable Sanford family lawyer advocates for fair division of financial liabilities

Just as marital assets are subject to division in divorce, so are marital debts. Dividing financial debt can be a hot-button issue, especially if debt was incurred unequally between spouses. At the Law Office of John M. Holmes, Jr., located in Sanford, I help North Carolina clients get fair debt division outcomes based on their individual situations. You can rely on me to strongly advocate for your interests in divorce decisions that can affect your life for years to come.  

How debt division decisions are made in divorce cases

If you and your spouse do not agree on how to divide debt, the court will do it for you. As with property and assets, North Carolina courts divide marital debts using the principle of equitable distribution, so judges will split debt in a way that they believe is fair after taking into account all the factors of individual cases. This does not necessarily mean that debts will be divided equally between spouses. Factors judges may look at include:

  • The income and assets of each spouse
  • Whether incurred debt was for the benefit of both spouses or just one spouse
  • How much debt spouses have together and separately
  • Whether either spouse intentionally incurred debt
  • Whether there are valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreements addressing debt

My hardworking family law firm will seek to make sure the judge fully understands all the factors in your situation with the goal of achieving a fair debt division decision.   

Separate debt versus marital debt

In general, any debt that you and your spouse each had before marriage is considered separate debt and isn’t subject to being divided in divorce. You are each responsible for continuing to pay your separate debt. Debt acquired during your marriage and before you are separated or divorced is typically considered marital debt unless you and your spouse had a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place that protected you from the other person’s financial liabilities. Types of marital debt may include the following;

  • Home mortgages
  • Car loans
  • Student loans
  • Home repair and improvement costs
  • Medical debt
  • Credit card debt

There are many variables that can factor into the decision on how to split marital debt. For example, if one spouse ran up debt without the other spouse’s knowledge or used household funds on an extramarital affair, those obligations could be treated as separate debt. I will carefully review your unique circumstances to try and achieve the fairest possible debt outcome that takes into account all the factors in your situation.  

Contact a reputable North Carolina attorney for a free consultation

At the Law Office of John M. Holmes, Jr. in Sanford, I help North Carolina clients throughout the divorce process, including advocating for them in matters involving debt division. To schedule a free consultation, call my firm at 919-897-2423 or contact me online.