Topic 9: Debts and Liabilities

Hi there,

In this unhappy recession, many folks who are getting divorced are dealing primarily with how to divide debts, but even if you are solvent you need to consider the various family liabilities out there.

You should consider who will pay the mortgages: the mortgage on the house, any equity loan or credit line, and any other mortgage on any property.  If you are on a mortgage and you will not be continuing to own the property you should arrange to have your ex take your name off the mortgage.  This will mean that he/she will need to refinance.

Also, if you or your ex are in a business that required guarantees from both spouses, you should get off of the guarantee as well.  Indemnifications by a former spouse are all very well and useful with a mortgage, but with a guarantee there is generally no property for you to reach and  you could end up being liable if your ex fails to pay or files bankruptcy

If either of you are liable for your children’s college or other student loans, you should decide and make clear in the divorce agreement who is going to be responsible for paying them.

Individual debts are usually the responsibility of the debtor unless they were for marital purposes.

You should also eliminate any joint credit cards, and obtain your own.