Division of Debt
Kansas City Debt Division Lawyer
In Kansas, the division of property during a divorce is conducted according to the state's equitable distribution process. This means that marital property is divided between spouses with view to their individual financial situation. Unlike community property states where marital property is divided evenly no matter what, equitable distribution seeks to achieve a balanced settlement that is proportional to each spouse's needs and abilities.
While most people spend a majority of their divorce proceedings arguing over who obtains the positive marital property such as the house, pensions and other financial assets, one important aspect of marital property is negative property in the form of debt. Any debt that is incurred during the marriage is considered a part of the marital property and subject to equitable distribution as well. Although some guidelines apply as to this distribution, the process in Kansas makes it difficult to foresee the conclusion of debt division and where one will ultimately end up as far as the settlement goes.
Types of Debt in a Divorce Settlement
There are two types of debt discussed when a couple is seeking divorce. The first type is that which is connected to an asset of the marriage. For example, a house has a mortgage and cars may still require monthly payments. These are known as secured debts. Secured debts, or debts connected with a marital asset, often are kept with that particular asset. This means that whichever spouse obtains that asset will also be responsible for the debt associated with it. The spouse who is given the house will likely be responsible for the mortgage and the spouse that receives the car will be responsible for the monthly payments. While there are exceptions to this rule, secured debts are generally distributed in connection with the asset that belongs to them.
The second type of debt is known as unsecured debt. This includes charges such as credit cards. Since the charges are likely made under the joint account of the couple, the debt will be distributed between the two spouses. While there is the possibility of deviation, unassociated marital debt is usually distributed equally between the spouses. However, if there is a debt that was incurred individually by one spouse in secret or against the will of the other, they will likely be solely responsible for those charges.
Ensuring a Fair and Equitable Distribution
When approaching the property division step of a divorce, it will be important for you to come to meetings prepared with support for your cause. Specifically concerning dividing marital debt, it is important you maintain organized documentation of the charges and debts that you and your former spouse currently owe. Your financial situation and abilities will come into consideration when the judge or court makes a decision but it will be in your best interest to have a legal representative present your case concisely. Having a Kansas City divorce lawyer consult you as to your goals and helping you achieve a fair division of debt will help you in your efforts immensely. Contact The Reynolds Law Firm, LLC to learn more about how our legal team can help you through your divorce and through the division of your marital debt.