How is Debt Divided in a Divorce?

When spouses get divorced, they must divide their assets as well as their debts. Oklahoma, like many states in the country, follows equitable distribution laws, which means all assets and debts are divided in a manner that is fair rather than equally. In this context, fair does not necessarily mean equal. For example, a spouse who is awarded a more substantial share of marital property may also be awarded a greater share of debt. Continue reading to learn more about debt division in a divorce.

Divorce and Debt in Oklahoma

Generally, both spouses are responsible for any debts accumulated during a marriage, even if the debt was only in one spouse’s name. However, if your spouse racked up some debt before your trip down the aisle, it would likely be considered separate debt for which you are not responsible. That said, not all debts incurred during a marriage are considered marital debt.

If your spouse wastefully dissipated marital assets, your spouse would likely be responsible for the bill. For example, if your spouse was unfaithful and spent a significant amount of marital assets on gifts, hotel rooms, or other expenses related to the affair, a judge may consider this wasteful dissipation and your spouse would be responsible for the debts.

If your spouse did not wastefully dissipate assets, however, you may want to consider paying off your debts before moving forward with the divorce process, if possible. Paying off your debts now will greatly simplify things and protect both parties. For example, if your spouse is assigned any debts that were incurred solely in your name and fails to pay it, creditors will turn to you for payment and you will have to take your former spouse to court to enforce the order.

Reach Out to Our Experienced Family Law Team for the Skilled Legal Representation You Need!

If you are getting a divorce and have concerns about debt and asset division, it is crucial to hire an experienced attorney to represent your case and protect your interests. At Nichols Dixon PLLC, our family law team has the skills and knowledge necessary to help you navigate your divorce case to help you overcome the obstacles you may face as you dissolve your marriage.

Call our law office today at (405) 294-1511 to set up an initial consultation to discuss the details of your divorce with one of our esteemed legal professionals.