The process of getting divorced looks different for everybody, and each state has rules regarding how your estate and property will be distributed, including Texas. The Lone Star state follows the community property model, meaning everything accumulated during the course of the marriage should be divided and distributed in a manner deemed just and right by the judge, including debt.
This division of property will reflect the divorcing party’s current circumstances. Debt incurred prior to the marriage can be distributed differently. If you are dividing your estate and debt, a divorce lawyer like the attorneys at the Moffett Law Firm with knowledge of the ins and outs of complex estate distribution will help ensure you are being treated properly.
Different Types of Debt in Texas Divorces
When dividing debt in your divorce, it is crucial to understand how debt is categorized. Debt can be classified as either of the following:
Marital or Community Debt
Also referred to as community debt, marital debt is debt you and your spouse acquired during the marriage that will be divided between both parties. Texas is a community property state, meaning all property acquired during the marriage is considered part of the marital estate and equally owned. This also means the debt acquired during the marriage or any debt owed for any asset acquired during the marriage needs to be divided as well.
Examples of marital debt include debt on any major joint purchases, such as a mortgage on a house, loans on a car, or credit card bills.
Separate Property Debt
Separate property debt is debt acquired before the marriage and is under only one party’s name. Note that separate property cannot be divided. Examples of separate property debt include student loans incurred before marriage or credit card debt accumulated prior to marriage. If a prenuptial agreement is signed before marriage, the document should specify what will and will not comprise the marital estate, including debts.
What Do You Do if Your Former Spouse Incurred Most of the Marital Debt?
If you feel as if your spouse is the primary cause of your debt and that it is unfair you split it evenly, you may have recourse. The “just and fair” split or division of assets in Texas does not mean everything is necessarily split straight down the middle. There are many reasons a Texas court may agree to divide the debt differently, including, but not limited to:
- One spouse has agreed to assume primary custody of the children
- One spouse will be taking the car tied to specific loans
- One spouse can pay more debt because of salary
Texas will divide the debt in a way considered equitable, which does not necessarily mean equal or even. With the knowledgeable and aggressive divorce attorneys at Moffett Law Firm by your side, you can strategically plan out debt division in an equitable and practical way for you and your situation.
Speak With a Dedicated Texas Divorce Lawyer Today
Dividing up your debt is just part of the divorce process. You also have your marital estate, property, and custody to consider. Moffett Law Firm possesses the knowledge and gravitas to preserve your wealth and your future. Don’t sit back and assume the debt your spouse incurred. Let Moffett Law strategize the best legal outcome for you to expertly navigate high-conflict issues and disagreements.