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How will the court divide debts during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2021 | Family Law |

When a marriage ends, a divorce is the only way to sever ties legally. One of the most significant facets of a divorce is splitting marital property and debt.

Dividing up finances during divorce is a topic that may cause strife even between couples who agree that they can no longer remain married. It may help to understand how an Indiana judge may handle the division of all things money-related.

Equitable division basics

Indiana law subscribes to the division of property in an equitable fashion. If forced to rule, the court chooses a fair way to separate assets, including property. A judge may look at the complete marital picture, including:

  • The money each spouse makes and what he or she may earn in the future
  • The domestic arrangement, i.e., one spouse stayed home to raise children
  • Each spouse’s emotional contribution to the marriage and its demise
  • The sole and separate property each spouse has

Debt division

Once the court arrives at an equitable split, it applies it to both marital assets and debts. If held prior to the marriage, bills such as student loan debts remain with the spouse obligated to pay them. If the loans become consolidated during the marriage, however, they may split as marital debt does.

Armed with a better understanding of how the court may divide finances during divorce, it may prove beneficial for spouses to reach an agreement rather than allowing the judge to decide. Compromise is the only way to ensure that a couple remains in control of their divorce and takes it out of a third party’s hands.