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Untangling Joint Debts In Your Divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2021 | Family Law |

In addition to dividing property and assets in New Jersey divorce proceedings, you will also need to determine how to divide marital debts.

Going through a divorce is a painful experience emotionally. Unfortunately, it can wreak havoc on your finances, as well. After years of living with someone else and sharing expenses, it can prove challenging managing everything on your own. This is one of the reasons why determinations made during marital property division proceedings in your divorce are so important. In addition to determining what will happen to property and assets during your marriage, these proceedings will also aim at untangling any joint debts you and your spouse owe.

Your Rights Regarding Marital Property, Assets, and Debts

When filing for a divorce in Monmouth County, one of the most important decisions that will be made concerns your rights to marital property and assets. This includes anything earned, acquired, or otherwise accumulated over the course of your marriage, such as homes, cars, household furnishings, personal belongings, funds in bank accounts, and pensions or other retirement plans.

New Jersey is what is known as an equitable division state, meaning marital property is divided on a basis that is fair but not necessarily even. Under the New Jersey Statutes, factors the judge will consider in your case include:

  • The length of the marriage and the standard of living you and your spouse enjoyed;
  • Your individual contributions to the marriage;
  • Any income or assets individually owned by either party;
  • Any pre- or post-marital agreements that may have been in place;
  • Any debts or liabilities in both parties names.

In addition to dividing marital property and assets between you and your former partner, you will also need to address any marital debts. This involves untangling both the types of debts you owe and who is responsible for each.

Dealing with Marital Debts in a Divorce

According to a 2019 Experian survey, consumer debt levels in the U.S. total more than $14 trillion with the average amount of personal debt over $90,000. Much of this is incurred by couples and represents homes, cars, personal loans, and credit card debts. When getting a divorce, determining how these debts are divided is an important matter to address. In order to untangle joint finances and protect yourself in property division proceedings, you will need to do the following:

  • Make a list of all individually and jointly owned debts;
  • Get recent statements from lenders showing the total amount owed;
  • Consider which debts you can pay off prior to your divorce;
  • Determine what property or other assets you may be willing to trade in divorce proceedings to reduce the amount you are required to pay.

Reach Out to Our Monmouth County Divorce Attorneys

At Lomurro Munson LLC, we can protect your rights in divorce proceedings, helping to reduce the total amount of marital debts you owe or even eliminate it completely. To discuss the options in your case, reach out and contact our Monmouth County, NJ divorce attorneys and request a confidential consultation today.