Dealing With Marital Debts When Getting A Divorce In Virginia
Debts are a fact of life for most people and, in some cases, can be overwhelming. They are a major source of stress and can cause problems in a marriage, eventually leading to a divorce. Regardless of whether this was an issue in your relationship, you will need to address marital debts as part of Virginia divorce proceedings. Find out how these are divided and some of the factors that could impact your rights in a settlement.
Addressing Marital Debts In Divorce
Few people can afford to pay cash for everything they purchase. Most of us end up carrying at least some type of debt. In some cases, this can represent major amounts of money owed, undermining your net worth and impacting your overall financial security.
Debts are one of the important issues that must be addressed during Loudoun County divorce proceedings. According to Bankrate, the average American has close to $100,000 in outstanding debts. This includes:
- Mortgages on homes or other properties;
- Loans for cars, motorcycles, boats, or recreational vehicles;
- Business loans;
- Household loans, which may have been used for furniture or other items;
- Student loans, which may represent a sizable portion of your overall debts;
- Credit cards and personal loans, which often carry high-interest rates.
When getting a divorce in Virginia, you will need to provide a complete list of all property and assets. You want to be sure to include all premarital and marital debts. Marital debts are subject to equitable division. This includes any debts accumulated over the course of your marriage, regardless of whose name they are in.
Factors That Influence How Debts Are Divided
Under the Virginia Code, all marital assets are divided on an equitable basis between the spouses. This applies to marital debts as well and means that rather than splitting everything 50/50, a judge will consider various factors in determining who owes what. This includes:
- The amount of time you were married;
- Each party’s individual income;
- Whether one spouse sacrificed their own career or education to support the other;
- How the debts were incurred, particularly if they resulted from gambling, affairs, or any other type of marital misconduct on the part of one of the spouses.
The best course of action is generally to try and settle all outstanding debts prior to divorce. However, if one spouse is clearly to blame for racking up debts, the judge will likely consider that in any settlements. Otherwise, the amount owed could be offset by the value of marital property and you may be able to eliminate certain debts by selling off homes, cars, or other belongings.
Request A Consultation With Our Virginia Divorce Attorney
To avoid being saddled with an excess amount of marital debts in the aftermath of a divorce, reach out to Schwartz Kalina, PLLC. Our divorce attorney provides the trusted legal guidance you need to protect yourself and your future financial security. Call or contact us online and request a consultation today.