One huge financial hurdle in any divorce is the division of assets. But along with the division of assets, the division of incurred debts can also be necessary. While many divorcing spouses see the fight for keeping the family home or car as the most contentious issue, other spouses might be most eager to avoid the acquisition of marital debt.
If you are going through a divorce and want to ensure that you do not take on marital debt, it is important that you take early action to prepare for this. It's vital that you understand how marital assets are divided during Michigan divorces so that you are able to take full advantage of the law.
What is marital debt?
If you married a person who already had debt, you will not incur any of this debt through property division at divorce. This is because assets and debts that are accumulated before marriage are not considered to be marital property. Marital debt counts as debts acquired by either spouse during the entirety of the marital period. Exceptions may be made if the debt was inherited or acquired through investments that were made before the marriage took place.
Will marital debts be divided equally between spouses?
The way that marital debts are divided at divorce depends on the state laws in place. In Michigan, community property is not recognized at divorce. This means that the courts will never blindly divide marital debts equally between each spouse. Instead, the courts will take into account many different factors to determine what would be a fair division.
It is likely that the courts will consider the financial contributions that each spouse made to the marriage, but they will also look into non-financial contributions. This means that if one parent did not work but dedicated their time to raising the children, they will not necessarily suffer financially. In the case of marital debt division, it is likely that the courts will try to determine which spouse contributed the most toward the acquisition of the debt.
If you want to make sure that debt is divided fairly in your Michigan divorce, it is important to thoroughly research the law and plan ahead.