Most New York couples have a staggering amount of marital debt. Mortgages, loans, car and credit card payments, etc. are all considered marital property if they were applied for jointly. These debts may not seem consequential when you are married, but in the event of divorce, it will come down to who is responsible for paying the outstanding bills.
How Does the Court Decide to Divide Debt?
When a couple files for divorce, their first thought is usually about assets. However, the debt the couple has accumulated throughout their marriage is just as important. As part of a divorce judgment, the court will divide the couple’s assets and debts.
The court will indicate which partner is responsible for paying which bills when dividing debts and assets. Generally, a court tries to divide everything as equally as possible. However, a court can also balance out the two. For example, if one partner is awarded more property they might be assigned more debt than the other.
In New York, a couple has a chance to decide how debts and assets will be distributed before it reaches the court. If the couple agrees on how to divide their property but not their debt, the court will step in and decide how it should be divided.
What If One Partner Refuses to Pay Their Debt?
If one partner refuses or is unable to pay their portion of the debt, things can get complicated. If both you and your partner were originally responsible for the debt or co-signed on a loan, the responsibility of payment will fall to you. A lender or creditor will not care that your partner won responsibility of payment during the divorce; they only care about the debt being paid on time.
The best thing to do if your ex stops paying their debts is to petition the court for an enforcement. Your ex will then be required to appear before the court and explain why they are not following the agreement. This could be followed by fines and even jail time if the offense is severe enough.
If you are able to make payments on the debt, make sure you keep proof of each payment so you can seek reimbursement from your ex.
Goldweber Epstein LLP Can Help
If you are having trouble getting your ex to pay their portion of the marital debt, our asset and debt allocation attorneys have your back. We will aggressively fight for you and do everything we can to get the results you seek.
Contact our firm online or give us a call at (917) 809-7669 for a case evaluation.