In the state of Georgia, during the divorce process, the court will work towards establishing a fair distribution of property that was acquired during the marriage. Although the division of assets is more than likely going to be one of your primary concerns during your divorce, it is important to remember marital debt, as well. In most situations, a married couple will each be assigned certain debts, but a divorce decree does not always erase your financial responsibility. Creditors may still hold you responsible for debts acquired during your marriage and how you handle debt liability during a divorce can seriously impact your long-term creditworthiness.
Debt Liability in Georgia
Equitable distribution used to separate assets in Georgia is also used by the court to determine debt liability. The court works to ensure that debt is divided in a way that is fair to each spouse, taking financial circumstances into account. Debts that are solely in the name of one spouse are typically assigned to that spouse, but issues occur when debt is held jointly or one spouse is ordered to pay a debt that is not in his or her name. As long as a debt remains in your name (jointly or solely), your creditor can still hold you liable for it.
Request a Financial Disclosure
Prior to beginning negotiations regarding debt, your attorney should request full financial disclosure. Doing this will require that a detailed listing of each account that is held jointly or individually by you or your spouse be turned over. Seeing what amounts are owed and whose names are on the accounts gives you and your attorney an idea of what type of debt distribution would be fair in your situation. Also, a financial disclosure requires your spouse to notify you of any debts of which you may have been unaware and provides you with some protection if debts surface after the divorce is finalized.
Include an Indemnity Clause
Once you and your spouse have come to an agreement regarding debts acquired during your marriage, it is important to take steps to protect your future interests. If your spouse is ordered to pay debt that is in your name, the possibility that he or she will fail to uphold that part of the divorce decree remains. Including an indemnity clause in your divorce decree ensures that you will be able to take your spouse back to court if he or she defaults on the agreement. Most importantly, it gives you the ability to have the negative ratings caused by your ex-spouse not paying a debt removed from your credit report.
Contact an Attorney
After a divorce, your credit rating becomes more important than ever. It is vital that you do what you can to protect it while making sure you receive all marital assets to which you are entitled. The assistance of a qualified divorce division of property attorney helps secure what is rightfully yours while making your spouse responsible for a fair portion of marital debt. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum understand that proper representation during your Georgia divorce is necessary and we are ready to give you the aggressive support that you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at one of our four Atlanta metro area offices.