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What happens to my marital debt if I divorce?

If you are facing divorce, you are likely to be concerned about property division. Who will get the family home? The automobiles and other prized possessions? It is a topic that can become very emotional.

On the opposite coin, divorcing couples also have to deal with the division of marital debts. This is something you may not have initially considered, but it is an important topic to keep in mind as it can majorly impact your post-divorce life.

Property division in Virginia

Virginia follows the legal concept of “equitable distribution” when it comes to the division of assets and debts in a divorce.

Some states follow “community property” laws meaning everything — assets and debts — are split relatively equally between the spouses.

In Virginia and other equitable distribution states, however, courts will divide assets and debts based on what would be fair in each given situation. While sometimes this leads to an even split, other times one party may be awarded more or less in marital assets and debt depending on what would be fair.

The division of debt

If you are responsible for marital debts following a divorce, it is important to plan on how you will pay back these debts on a single income. You may be able to consolidate certain debts or perhaps you could work with your lender to arrange a feasible debt-repayment plan. If you have joint savings or equity in a jointly owned house, these could be used to pay down debt.

Being burdened with debt post-divorce can be a distressing situation. You are reeling from an emotional break-up, and you are transitioning to a single income. It is stressful, but with the right planning you can handle the debts you are responsible for post-divorce.

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