Splitting up your possessions and debts from your marriage can be a contentious issue in divorce. After all, money often plays a major factor in the breakdown of marriages. Whether one of you has trouble spending money or can’t seem to save any money, financial disparities can cause major marital strife.
Now that you are on track for a divorce, you probably worry about whether you will get held responsible for your spouse’s habits and debts. Depending on your situation, it may be possible for you to avoid responsibility for certain debts during an Alabama divorce.
The courts will do their best to split your assets and debts fairly
Alabama uses an equitable distribution standard for the assets and debts of couples going through divorce. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement on record, the courts will look at certain factors from your marriage and determine a fair manner in which to split your marital assets.
Typically, anything you acquire in your marriage, including debt, is subject to division in a divorce. Assets and debts from before the marriage may not require division. Determining what is a separate or marital property can become confusing, especially when it comes to financial accounts and debts.
If both of you are on an account, you will likely share responsibility. Similarly, even if a debt is in one spouse’s name, if the intent of acquiring the debt was to benefit the household, you may share responsibilities there, too. For example, if your spouse went back to school during your marriage, you may end up responsible for a portion of the student loans. However, if your spouse took out a credit card without informing you and spent a lot of money, that may not be your responsibility.
Alabama courts protect people from dissipation of marital funds
People do strange and even cruel things immediately prior to a divorce. One spouse could intentionally sell or give away assets to deplete the financial value of the marital property. Other times, one spouse might go on a spending spree, racking up massive credit card debt in an attempt to financially punish their ex. It is also possible for one spouse to waste a significant amount of money while conducting an extramarital affair.
All of these are likely examples of dissipation of marital assets. If you can demonstrate to the courts that your spouse intentionally wasted assets or accumulated debt to penalize you for ending the marriage, the courts may factor that into how they handle the asset division process. If you worry about responsibility for debts incurred by your ex, carefully reviewing your financial situation can help you understand the likelihood of being held responsible for those financial mistakes.