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How do Georgia courts divide marital debt?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 813,862 divorces in 2014. During any marriage, a couple may acquire debt, especially after buying a house, getting a loan for a car, or using credit cards for some payments. It’s important to know how Georgia courts view and divide marital debt during a divorce proceeding.

What Is Marital Debt?

When dividing debt during a divorce, it’s important to know the difference between individual and shared debt. Shared debt includes:

  • All items acquired or purchased during the marriage
  • Jointly or individually titled items
  • Jointly opened debt accounts

Georgia law sees all marital debt as shared debt. However, if one spouse brought assets or debts to the marriage and kept them completely separate from other marital funds and debts, that spouse is solely responsible for that debt.

How Georgia Divides Marital Debt

When you file for divorce, the court designates marital debt as either shared or individual. During this process, both parties are required to prove:

  • How much the debt is worth. When splitting debt between two divorcing parties, the court places a high value on equitable division. Therefore, the court asks each party to prove the value of all debts to ensure that each spouse is responsible for a fair share.
  • How the debt was acquired. How the court divides the debt depends on who acquired the debt and what it was used for. Individual debts not mixed in with joint assets will likely stay with the person who created them.

We Can Help With Your Case

If you’re going through a divorce and have questions about shared and individual debt, we can help explain how the court views each type. The legal team at Duffy & Feemster has the experience and skill to help you with your divorce proceedings. To discuss your case, start a live chat with us on our website.

 

Dwight T. Feemster
Dwight is a civil and criminal attorney in Georgia.

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