Debt and Divorce: What You Need to Know

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There’s always the chance of a marriage failing and ending up in divorce. There are many reasons divorce happens first, but financial issues are one of the most common. Since financial matters are often cited, many couples who usually get divorced worry about the problems in question, such as debts.

It’s best to try and work out any debt-related issues because it lessens the weight of the problems that will be discussed before the actual divorce proceedings start. Unfortunately, not all divorces can be amicable, and some are just downright nasty.

If you’re still unsure about how debts play out in a divorce, there are answers to some of the most common questions regarding them. Read on below to learn more.

“Am I Responsible for My Spouse’s Debt?”

The best way for a couple to handle debts is to split them up before starting the actual divorce proceedings. If arrangements aren’t made, then the resolution of debts will be at the court’s discretion. However, this doesn’t matter for lenders or creditors because the person who borrowed the money is the only one responsible for paying back the debt.

Regardless of one spouse paying for the debt while the other spent the funds in question, the only thing that matters is that the debt should be paid. If payments aren’t made, simply saying that your ex failed to pay the debts on time isn’t enough because lenders expect the debt to be paid regardless of whose name is in the record. The credit score of the person responsible for the payment will be affected if the debt isn’t paid.

“Are Debts Shared in a Divorce?”

As a matter of fact, yes. Debts can be shared in a divorce, but the court will be the one to decide on how the debt will be transferred.

Like the previous question, this also doesn’t matter to the lender because, again, the only thing they care about is that the debt must be paid. If the debt isn’t paid on time, the person’s credit score who’s supposed to pay for it will be affected.

“I Already Paid off My Half of the Divorce, but My Partner Still Hasn’t. What Will Happen Then?”

This question will be answered by your lawyer, who can take the case back to court and find a resolution. The best thing that you can do is prevent the debt from going to collections, affecting your credit score.

If you can afford it, it’s recommended that you pay for the debts first in the meantime until the court resolves the matter. Just make sure that you have a record of all the payments that you made because that isn’t your responsibility in the first place.

“What about Undisclosed Debts? Am I Responsible for Those?”

Before getting started with divorce proceedings, both parties will be required to get a credit report and share this information with their partner. This way, there will be no unheard of debts that will come as a shock to the other party.

Again, your credit score will be affected even if your ex took the money as long as your name is the one registered.

“What Happens to Secured Debts?”

Examples of secured debt are mortgages and auto loans. If you and your soon-to-be-ex are divorcing amicably, the best solution is to sell the asset and split the money between the two of you.

Additionally, you can also have a buyout from your partner. Courts can decide in the matter, but chances are you won’t be satisfied with their ruling.

“How Do I Protect Myself from Getting Debt during a Divorce?”

Suppose either party wasn’t living within a budget or transparent about their finances before the divorce. In that case, the process can be harder, especially if both parties are not on civil terms.

The best thing you can do is protect your assets, including freezing accounts, removing your partner as a secondary cardholder, or keeping paying minimum payments.


Divorces can be a pretty complicated and tiresome process, especially if finances are part of the question. The best thing to do is to work everything out with your soon-to-be-ex so that everything goes well. If all else fails, make sure that you have a dedicated lawyer by your side.

Divorce lawyers are the people you should contact if you’re going through a divorce. They would know how to deal with the entire process, especially when it comes to finances. If you’re looking for a divorce lawyer in the Fraser Valley area, Dreyer and Associates Lawyers LLP has legal specialists that can help you. Our legal specialists are well-equipped with the knowledge and expertise to handle any divorce case. Contact us today for a consultation!





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