Debt and property division

As couples settle into married life in Utah, they often begin making large purchases and investments together. In the event that the marriage ends in divorce, those assets acquired during the span of the marriage are typically subject to property division. What many people do not realize, however, is that the debts that they accumulated with their spouse can also be divided and shared during the divorce process.

During the early stages of the divorce process people can begin considering how best to address debts that they and their spouse have. In cases where the ex-spouses have their own assets and/or income, people can attempt to establish an agreement with their spouse’s creditors. The agreement essentially protects them from liability for the ex-spouse’s debts from the marriage. Creditors are sometimes hesitant to enter into these arrangements, known as novation agreements.

Without the novation agreement, creditors have the legal right to pursue people for debt that their ex-spouse was responsible for paying. The reason for this is due to the fact that a divorce agreement has no impact on the legality of who owns the debt. For creditors, the debt belonged to both spouses and when they are no longer receiving payments from one spouse they will go after the other.

Meeting with a knowledgeable family law attorney is typically the most efficient and effective way to understand a large number of financial factors that can come into play during divorce. Not only can an attorney help people navigate the property division process but they can also assist clients in addressing concerns over unique and joint debts.

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