Columbus, Ohio Family Law Attorneys Handling Issues Regarding Division Debts in Divorce and Discharging those Debts in Bankruptcy
Most divorces are complicated, emotional matters. There are many details that can affect every facet of your life. One of the issues that can become quite contentious is the subject of debt accumulation. Consulting with a family law attorney who is also experienced in financial issues such as bankruptcy can be an invaluable asset to helping you resolve this matter.
Buck, Fish & White, Ltd., we are highly trained and skilled in resolving family law issues. Our knowledge of the statutes and case law pertaining to financial matters in divorce, and related areas such as bankruptcy, can help our clients decide the best way to deal with dividing debts in a divorce action and potential issues that may arise when attempting to discharge those debts in bankruptcy. Contact us today if you have financial matters that need special care in your divorce or dissolution.
There are many difficulties that couples can encounter when trying to divide debts during a divorce proceeding. Just because you are terminating your marital relationship does not mean that you can simply ignore the financial ties. You need to understand that your creditors are not parties to your divorce or dissolution case or the resulting decree, and they are not bound by the allocation of debt to your spouse (or former spouse). For example, just because your ex-spouse was awarded the home and ordered to pay the joint mortgage until he or she refinances it to remove your name, if he or she does not make the payments the mortgage company will also sue you when they foreclose on the home. As far as the mortgage company is concerned, if it is a joint mortgage (and promissory note) you are equally responsible, notwithstanding the provisions in your divorce or dissolution decree.
Depending on how a separation agreement in a dissolution or a divorce decree is worded, this may prevent debts from being discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding. Certain debts divided or allocated in a divorce or dissolution cannot be discharged by filing bankruptcy. The most common financial obligations contained in domestic relations orders that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy are those relating to spousal and child support. If you file bankruptcy, you cannot discharge such domestic support obligations and, possibly, other types of financial obligations.
Additionally, in appropriate situations, we may be able to assist you in negotiating for one party to assume responsibility for marital debt instead of paying support. We also make sure, if possible, that one spouse holds the other harmless if debt, such as credit card debt, is assumed, to minimize conflicts that might arise later after the decree is finalized.
Unfortunately, many couples end up litigating the issues relating to marital debt twice, once in family relations court and then again in bankruptcy court. Our attorneys can help you try to avoid this redundant and costly process and make you aware of the issues and potential pitfalls during the divorce process.
We counsel our clients in terms of what we believe is reasonable and appropriate given their particular circumstances. If you have questions concerning dividing debts in a divorce or dissolution action, or the potential for discharging those debts, contact our office today to see how we can help you.
We believe that it is essential to prepare our clients for their future and transition to life after divorce or dissolution of their marriage, and using our years of experience and skills, and methods such as collaborative law, makes this possible.