As the holiday season winds down, one thing that many of us have in common is that we’ve spent the past few months racking up debt. The debt could be from buying gifts, decorating our homes, or traveling to visit family and friends. For those who are married, both spouses may share responsibility for each other’s debts.
If your marriage is on solid ground, sharing responsibility for your spouse’s debt and having your spouse share responsibility for your debt may not be a big deal. In fact, it may be a relief to share the burden. However, if your marriage is heading for divorce, the idea of being responsible for your soon-to-be ex’s debts is absolutely a big deal.
Am I Responsible for My Spouse’s Debt After We’re Divorced?
Nevada is a community property state. Under Nevada’s community property laws, when a couple gets divorced, their assets and debts are divided equally between them. That means that both spouses would be equally responsible for repaying any debts they acquired during the marriage. However, there are other factors that are considered when the court decides whether you will be responsible for your spouse’s debt after your divorce, including:
- Judge – The judge in your case can decide that you must pay a portion of your ex’s debt even if the law says you don’t have to pay anything. A judge can also decide that you don’t have to pay your ex’s debt even though the law says you are responsible for paying a portion of their debt.
- Type of debt – Different debts, including credit card debt, student loan debt, auto loans, and mortgages, may be handled differently during the divorce process. In the case of mortgage debt, if your name and your spouse’s name are on the mortgage, you will both be responsible for the debt. However, if one of you keeps the home, you will probably be able to come to an agreement that the person who keeps the home is responsible for the debt/payments (this would most likely include signing your portion of the home over to them and/or them buying you out of your portion of the home). You could also just agree to sell the home and split the profits.
- Prenuptial agreement – If you and your spouse have a prenuptial agreement, then you may have already agreed that you won’t be responsible for any debts you each had prior to getting married if you get divorced. Or you may have agreed that you will be responsible for a portion of each other's premarital debt if you get divorced.
Ultimately, your best bet to avoid being on the hook for your spouse’s debt after your divorce is hiring an experienced divorce lawyer to handle your case. A divorce attorney can examine your situation, successfully guide you through the divorce process, and help you reach a satisfactory resolution to your divorce in the court room or through mediation.
Discuss Your Situation with Our Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Las Vegas Today
For more than 30 years, Leavitt Law Firm has been there for people going through the divorce process. We’ve seen the difficulties that people can go through during and following divorce, including mental, emotional, and financial challenges.
As our clients’ testimonials prove, our experienced divorce attorneys have a long history of helping clients reach the most favorable outcome possible regarding the finalization of their divorce, including finding a satisfactory solution to any debt issues.
To learn more about divorce, property division, and marital debt in Nevada, give us a call at (702) 996-6052 or contact us online today for a confidential consultation with our experienced divorce attorneys in Las Vegas.