Am I Liable for My Ex's Debts?

One of the most difficult and challenging parts of most divorces is property division. When most people think of property and asset division, they tend to think of specific items, like a house, car, furniture, and other items. However, assets and debts are also included in this division process. If there is debt between the spouses, that debt must be reassigned. Our Yonkers family law lawyer shares some things you should know about debt during a divorce and whether or not you could be responsible you’re your partner’s debt.

This Debt Is Your Debt; This Debt is My Debt

New York is an equitable distribution state, which means debt acquired during the marriage equally belongs to both spouses. Debts that were acquired before the marriage would remain the responsibility of the spouse whom it belonged to. In that way, debt division is similar to the division of assets.

What if I’m not the one that created the debt?

The division of debt acquired during the marriage is not susceptible by who created it. For example, if your spouse racked up a ton of credit card debt, that debt would be his or her responsibility in the event of a divorce. However, if your spouse racked up that credit card debt while you were married, you would be responsible for part of it, even if you did not contribute to the debt at all.

There are rare situations in which an individual can prove that their spouse was solely responsible for the debt that was acquired. The individual must also prove that the spouse’s debt did not benefit the marriage community in any way. For instance, you could probably prove that your spouse put you into debt by buying a boat, but if you enjoyed that boat at all, you would still be liable for that debt.

If your spouse inquired a ton of debt during your marriage and you need legal assistance, contact Empire Law today!