Educational loans, however, incurred during marriage for the education and training of one spouse will be assigned to that spouse.
Any civil money damages that one spouse incurs while acting for their own benefit and not for the benefit of the couple will be assigned to the spouse who incurred it.
Assignment of debts
When you try to divide your debt, use caution.
Sometimes spouses or domestic partners try just taking the entire amount owed and dividing it in half — so, for example, one party takes half the credit cards and the other takes the other half. They may even put this in a written agreement. But this may not be a good idea. When you make agreements between yourselves to pay off debt, you need to remember that the people you owe the money to do not have to honor your agreement with your spouse or domestic partner. They can go after the spouse or partner that signed the contract (like a credit card application), regardless of which of you agrees to be responsible for the debt.
For example, if you have a credit card in your name, but your spouse or partner agrees to pay it off to balance out other property or debt you are dividing, that credit card company can still go after you (as well as your spouse or partner). So, if your spouse or partner misses a payment, the credit card company will go after you because as far as they are concerned, it does not matter what your divorce agreement is. You may end up paying not only the balance on the card, but also the interest and late fees, and your credit rating will probably be damaged as well.
To avoid these potential problems with dividing debt, consider:
- In cases where there is real property that will be sold, spouses or domestic partners often agree to pay the credit cards using the money they get from the sale of that property.
- Another possible option is that the person who is to pay the joint credit card gets a new credit card in only his or her name and does a balance transfer.