Michael G. Putter Attorney at Law
Experienced Family Law Counsel For Rome, New York, And The Mohawk Valley
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Should you agree to divide debt with your ex?

The easiest way to handle debt during a divorce is simple: Pay off the debt. Use the assets you have to get rid of what you owe, then split up what assets remain. You can eliminate debt before divorce to keep it from playing a part at all.

Of course, this is easier said than done for many people. If you have a car loan for $50,000 and you pay $800 per month, while you can afford the $800, you may not have $50,000 to pay off the whole loan. That's the reason you bought the car with the loan in the first place.

Another option, then, is to divide up your debt by agreeing to each pay a portion. For instance, your ex takes the car and agrees to pay the $800 per month. You agree to pay on your student loan debts and the credit card debt. You both make your payments until all of the debt is eliminated.

But should you do it? One issue to keep in mind is that your lender does not care that you got divorced on a joint debt. You both still owe the lender that money. If your ex pays, that doesn't matter, but it matters quite a lot if your ex fails to pay and suddenly the lender calls you to ask for the money.

You need to know all of your legal options in a situation like this. There may be ways to protect yourself when dividing debt, such as having your ex refinance the loan to take your name off of it.

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