Dividing debts in Okmulgee divorce is part of the process. Our divorce clients often have questions and concerns about dividing debts in divorce. In fact, when explaining the property division portion of a divorce, the dividing up of debts is our most common question. In Oklahoma, the courts follow the “equitable division” doctrine. This doctrine seeks to divide assets and liabilities fairly. However, fairly does not necessarily equal 50/50.
Dividing Debts in Divorce
Marital Property Debts
When dividing debts in an Okmulgee divorce the first question to answer is whether the debt is marital or separate debt. Oklahoma law puts debt into one of two categories—marital or separate property debts. So during a divorce process, the equitable division doctrine will take into account which property is marital and which is not. As a result, understanding which debts are marital property is very important. Marital property essentially belongs to both spouses in the marriage equally. Separate property does not.
First, the marital debts will separate into secure or unsecured debt. This simply means that secure debts have tangible property that a creditor can take for non-payment. Conversely, unsecured debt does not. For example, if you do not make your house payment a bank can put your home in foreclosure and eventually seize it. This is secure debt. Unsecured debt generally falls under credit card debt. Therefore, the spouse who receives the marital property with a payment attached to it will also be liable for those payments after the divorce. The spouse who does not receive the marital property, will no longer be liable for the payments.
Second, if you and your spouse have unsecured debt, then you will both be liable for the payments. This is even after the divorce is complete. This is because, under the doctrine of equitable division, you and your spouse likely both benefited from the use of credit cards in the marriage. So this would be marital property and subject to fair division.
Separate Property Debts
The idea of separate property is a bit vague in the sense of designating liability. For instance, student loan debt for a professional degree is usually separate property. This means that the knowledge from the degree will only benefit one spouse. So once the marriage dissolves, the debts attach to only that spouse. However, if the student loans went to pay for housing or any other contribution to the household, then it is marital property. This would make both parties liable for paying off the loan. But, if the debt is strictly separate property, then only the spouse incurring the debt will be liable for it after the divorce.
Okmulgee Divorce Attorneys
Our family and divorce attorneys in Oklmulgee understand how difficult a divorce can be. Sometimes you just want out but the debt that was acquired during the marriage keeps pulling you back. Add children and child custody and child support to the mix and other issues found in family law cases and the pressure becomes overwhelming. Get the legal advantage you need. Get the legal advantage skilled and aggressive family attorneys give you. Dividing debts in Okmulgee divorce doesn’t have to be so hard. Call our Okmulgee divorce attorneys today. Get a free consultation.