Sometimes happily ever after isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Many marriages simply don’t work out in which case divorce becomes necessary.
Even the most amiable divorces are somewhat messy. Married couples live deeply intertwined lives: they purchase property, have children, and build wealth together. Much of the divorce process is devoted to sorting out what belongs to whom.
One of the trickiest, and most contentious, divorce issues is debt. Nobody wants to take responsibility for debt, yet someone must. Each state has their own way of allocating debt obligations during a divorce, here’s how it’s handled in the state of Ohio.
When it comes to dividing assets during a divorce, Ohio is an equitable distribution state. In other words, all marital assets must be divided between the parties in a fair and equitable manner. However, when it comes to dividing debt, there is no law; rather, debt is generally allocated according to one of four principles:
- Equal Division: Sometimes the court will follow the rule used to divide assets and split the debt evenly between the parties. This is an easy, efficient way to ensure both parties pay their fair share.
- Income Proportional: In cases involving parties with radically different incomes, the court will require the more affluent party to take on more debt.
- By Name: When someone takes out a loan or opens a line of credit, they normally do so in their own name. This provides the judge an expedient way to apportion debt — simply assign to whoever’s name is attached to the debt.
- By Who Incurred Them: Perhaps you took out a credit card in your name, but your spouse was the one who ran up a huge balance. In some cases, the judge will recognize this and make the loose spender pay down the debt.
Divorce is never easy
Some divorces are harder than others, but one thing is certain – divorces are never easy. Simply trying to navigate the process can be a challenge, forget about ensuring that all your interests are protected.
For this reason, having an experienced divorce attorney by your side is critical. They understand the nuances of the law and can craft a legal strategy that prioritizes your unique objectives.
If cost is a concern, many lawyers offer a free initial consultation at no out of pocket cost to the client.