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Marital Debt and Divorce: What You Need to Know

If the marriage ends in divorce, you worry about what will happen to your assets. Just as important is what will happen to the debts that you and your spouse have accumulated during the marriage. You need the best family divorce attorney in San Antonio, Texas, to protect your interest. Your divorce agreement needs to specify in detail which spouse will be responsible for each debt.

Marital Debts

In Texas, debts, like property, are classified as separate or community (or marital) for purposes of divorce law. What are common debts arising during the marriage?

  • Home mortgage: Your home may have a substantial mortgage. Even if your spouse has been paying the monthly mortgage during the marriage, the debt belongs to both parties.
  • Car note: If your car was purchased by you and your spouse, you both are responsible for the note.
  • Credit cards: If a credit card is in both names, you share responsibility for the credit card debt. If a card is issued in the name of one spouse and is used for personal expenses, the credit card debt is the responsibility of that party. If a spouse uses a personal credit card for necessaries—food and monthly household needs—the debt becomes the responsibility of both you and your spouse.

Dividing Debts

You and your spouse can reach an agreement to divide your assets and debts in a divorce case. Consult the best divorce attorney to help draft an agreement that is clear and comprehensive. Often the debt will follow the asset. If one spouse drives a car the majority of the time, the debt for the vehicle can be assigned to that spouse. A debt will be placed on the spouse better able to assume the financial responsibility.

A lawyer will look at the whole picture. One spouse may take less alimony if the other party assumes more debt. Texas law requires an equitable division of marital assets and debts. If the parties can’t agree on how the debts are to be divided, the court will ultimately make the decision. You need a good lawyer in your corner to make sure all of your spouse’s assets are taken into consideration and the divorce does not leave you in a poor financial shape that could lead to bankruptcy.


Creditors are not bound by divorces. The divorce is between you and your spouse. If a mortgage is not paid, a lender can foreclose on the home. If a car note is not paid, a creditor can repossess the vehicle. If your ex-spouse does not pay a debt as required by the divorce agreement, your remedy is a contempt proceeding against your ex-spouse. Keep an eye on your credit rating. If you receive calls from creditors about debts your ex-spouse should be paying, contact your divorce lawyer for help.

If you are considering a divorce, call the best divorce attorney in your area for help. The Law Offices of Steven C. Benke will look after your financial interest in dividing the obligations for debts accumulated during the marriage.

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