After a divorce, a person's financial situation can change dramatically. Divorcees have not only divided their assets, but their debts are also divided. And, in states with equitable division laws, such as Kentucky, this division is not always 50/50. Therefore, it is important to have some information about how various debts are treated during the property division process.
One type of debt that many individuals incur during their lifetime is medical debt. In equitable distribution states, the judge will consider a number of factors when dividing medical debt. This includes the point of time in which the medical debt was incurred -- that is, whether it was acquired during the marriage or after separation. In addition, the judge may also take into consideration whether the medical debt is deemed "necessary care."
Another common type of debt is credit card debt. If the credit card debt was incurred during the course of the marriage, it may be considered marital property and divided between both spouses, even if only one spouse is listed as the account holder. However, accounts that were created outside of the marriage in one individual's name only may be considered separate property and, therefore, the responsibility of one spouse only.
Finally, let's take a look at one other common type of debt -- mortgages. Mortgages usually represent a huge part of a person's debt, and, accordingly, there are a number of ways in which it may be divided. In some cases, the mortgage will be granted to the spouse who retains primary child custody, so that the child can stay in the family home. In other cases, the spouse with the highest income may be granted the mortgage. As discussed last week, there are several factors each spouse will want to consider when deciding if they want to fight for the marital home.
Medical debt, credit card debt and mortgages are only three types of debts married couples may incur. However, how these debts are divided can have a huge impact on an individual's financial circumstances post-divorce. Having a good understanding of how debts are treated during property division in Kentucky can be one way for each spouse to ensure that the property -- and debt -- division process is equitable.