While the vows specify until death do you part, we know that that is not always the case and oftentimes even the happiest marriage can end prematurely through a divorce. Couples have many questions during divorce proceedings including such important issues as child custody arrangements, an equitable splitting of property and assets, who gets the family dog, as well as determining what happens to the family debts.
Obviously, this is a difficult time in anybody’s life, and this is only exacerbated when the split is acrimonious, so that is why having an experienced divorce lawyer in San Antonio by your side assures that you will be treated fairly in your Texas divorce proceedings.
In addition to the emotional toll a divorce can occasion, the process can be quite complex even when both parties feel as though they have reached an amicable settlement. As a community property state, Texas courts will look at the partitioning of property and debt under that light.
What is a Community Property State?
Generally speaking, in a community property state, the assets and debt accumulated over the course of the marriage are shared equally between the two parties. Courts will generally look at the property and debts that each individual brought into the union when it comes time to dissolve that union and disperse the assets and debts accumulated since the marriage began.
When assessing debts that each party brings into the marriage, Texas courts use a nuanced approach that evaluates who actually incurred the debt, when it was taken on, and for what purposes.
As an example, a marriage partner who took on student debt prior to the marriage would in all likelihood be held solely responsible for their discharging. Rare instances in which a spouse signed on to a joint account following the marriage, but an experienced divorce lawyer in San Antonio can sit down and discuss the specific details of your situation.
An Equitable Distribution of Debt
While the average soon-to-be-divorced person immediately thinks about asset protection and wondering whether they might be given the house in the upcoming proceedings, few give equal attention to the status of their debt. The fact remains however, marital debts are just as important as marital assets in terms of how the court might act in assigning an equitable distribution of assets and debts.
As with any balance sheet, debts are as important as assets in determining net worth.
For this reason, it is important for each spouse to understand the complete familial financial picture when it becomes time to dissolve the marriage to avoid any unpleasant surprises before the divorce judge. While perusing your financial documentation, always understand that these debts are balanced by any assets you might share as a couple.
While it is difficult during the turbulent time of a divorce to arrive at a consensus, both parties will do well to broach the subject with an eye towards reducing any combined, communal debt prior to the filing of divorce documents with the court.
Divorce Proceedings and Division of Debt
As mentioned, once you find yourself in front of the judge during your divorce proceedings, the magistrate will look towards an equitable division of property and debts between the two parties. The court will always try and split debts equally, but they might also use debt to offset asset division to result in a fairer outcome.
As an example, one spouse might be afforded the major family asset, the home, but the court might also assign the additional debt to balance out the scales when it comes to the other party. While dividing your possessions may seem a highly personal affair, you will wish to brace yourself for the businesslike approach that the court will likely bring to the legal proceedings.
Having qualified legal counsel representing your interests in a divorce proceeding is the best way to assure that expensive consideration don’t fall between the cracks when it comes to assigning assets and debt to each party. Putting aside the grief, sadness, anger, and confusion of a broken marriage is never easy, so having a competent legal mind working in your corner is the best defense in divorce proceedings.
What Happens When Your Ex-Spouse Fails to Meet Financial Obligations?
Once the judge has set out the terms for the divorced proceedings, you will leave knowing what debts that you are responsible for paying, and which outstanding bills will be honored by your ex-spouse. This is in an ideal world of course.
Remembering that the Lone Star State observes community property and community debt alike, should your spouse fail to meet their financial obligations, those creditors can theoretically turn their attention towards your bank account.
In such an event, you will need to return to court to get the judge to enforce her earlier ruling regarding payment of debts.
Contact Amsberry Law Firm for Qualified Legal Representation
Amsberry Law Firm offers a seasoned litigator who is fully versed in all aspects of Texas family law including the difficult time when getting a divorce. Having a clear mind is sometimes difficult, but our team of legal representation will keep our eye on the ball on your behalf during your divorce proceedings. Making correct decisions during these trying times can have a powerful impact on your future financial health.
There is no reason for you to go it alone during these difficult proceedings, and our team of expert legal representatives can guarantee that you will not be alone during this critical time period.