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How is debt divided in a North Carolina divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2022 | Property Division |

Divorce can be a difficult process for anyone, given the many things you have to process in one go. You are probably worried about the children as much as you are about what lies ahead. Usually, money matters are the bulk of such concerns. 

Since the divorce likely scuttled any long-term plans you had laid with your ex, you are right to be worried about your financial future. For instance, you may wonder how much debt you will end up with after the dust settles. Well, the actual figure depends on several factors, as outlined below.

North Carolina is an equitable distribution state

Generally, marital debt is divided similarly to marital property, equitably. This means that such division does not need to be equal depending on the circumstances of each spouse. Under North Carolina laws, the courts will consider the following factors:

  • The income level of each spouse
  • Any obligations to prior marriages by either spouse
  • Your contribution to the debt
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age and health of either spouse
  • Debts accrued in bad faith in anticipation of divorce
  • Any other factor the court finds appropriate

Creditors can still come after you

Even if the court assigns the debt to your ex-spouse and they default, creditors can still come after you as long as you are a signatory. Therefore, it is crucial to anticipate such issues and act accordingly. For example, you might engage the lender to revise or restructure the debt agreement and rid you of any obligation if your spouse is meant to pay it all.

Otherwise, you may choose to agree with your spouse on handling such financial obligations without letting them impact the other party. The most important thing is that you get your fair share of debt and are not overburdened by any financial liabilities as you plan on life ahead.