Besides issues involving children, the division of property is typically the most fiercely contested aspect of a Utah divorce. Amidst this complicated issue, many divorcing couples come across the question of “How will marital debt be divided?”. No partner wants to get stuck with an unfair debt burden as it can be crushing, but if you have any questions or concerns about debt division and divorce in Utah, please contact an experienced Lehi, Utah divorce attorney for immediate legal assistance.
Debt in a Utah Divorce: Equitable Distribution
Under Utah law, all marital property is divided in an ‘equitable’ manner. This includes both assets and debts. When determining what constitutes a fair division of debts, Utah courts will consider several different issues, including:
- How the marital debt was incurred
- The projected future earning ability of each partner
- The duration of the marriage
- Any other factors deemed relevant in order to reach a fair conclusion
When dividing debts, Utah courts will always be required to make qualitative assessments. There is no one size fits all formula that will determine how the debt should be divided in a divorce case. This makes hiring a qualified Provo divorce and family lawyer especially important. Your lawyer can help protect you from getting stuck with an unreasonable debt burden.
My Spouse Started Racking Up Personal Debt; Is there Anything I Can Do?
If your spouse started taking out loans or racking up credit card debt for purely personal reasons, you need to take immediate legal action. While in theory Utah’s equitable distribution system will protect you from liability in that scenario, you still need to be proactive in order to ensure that you are protected in reality.
For example, if you have just begun the divorce process and your spouse decides to max out your joint credit card for his/her personal use, under the equitable distribution system, your partner should bear sole responsibility for that debt. However, you will need to acquire documentation that proves that your partner used that credit card for personal reasons. As soon as you suspect that your spouse is incurring joint debt, you must take action. You should immediately get your credit card statements in your hands and take your name off of joint accounts.
As far as the credit card company or any other loan company is concerned, if your name is on an account, you are liable for any resulting debts. This can cause issues with lenders and missed payments, so if debt is an issue in your divorce, consider consulting with an experienced attorney today.
If you believe that your marriage is coming to the end, you need to be vigilant. It is critical that you receive your fair share of the marital property. This includes ensuring that you are not stuck with an unfair share of the marital debt. The experienced divorce team at Coil Law, LLC can help. Please do not hesitate to contact our office today at (801) 939-6027 to schedule a fully confidential initial consultation.