Berks County Attorney: Dividing Marital Debt

Many couples who go through divorce have more debts to divide than assets. Obtaining an equitable division of those debts can have a significant impact on your future financial security.

At Rowee Law Offices, P.C., our attorneys offer a free initial consultation to discuss martial debt. We have offices in Wyomissing and Lancaster in Pennsylvania.

Is The Debt Marital Or Separate Property?

Many people assume that a debt will go to the person who incurred it. That is not necessarily the case in divorce. Under Pennsylvania law, if a debt is acquired during the marriage and used for a marital purpose, it is a marital debt and subject to equitable distribution. It doesn't matter whose name the debt is in.

In some cases, it may be possible to argue that a debt is not marital. For example, if a spouse used a credit card to buy flowers or travel on vacation with a girlfriend or boyfriend, that debt may not be marital. If a spouse bought drugs or gambled, that would be considered wasting assets — and the debt would not be subject to division.

When dividing marital property, our goal is to help you obtain a fair division of everything you are entitled to have — and to keep you from incurring debts that shouldn't belong to you.

How Are Marital Debts Divided?

Pennsylvania courts divide marital debts in the same way they divide marital assets: using the law of equitable division. "Equitable" does not necessarily mean equal. The judge will consider who has the better ability to pay debts. As a result, debts may be divided unequally.

For More Information About Dividing Marital Debt

To schedule a free, face-to-face consultation with a lawyer today, call Rowe Law Offices, P.C., at 610-816-0935 (Berks County), 717-345-3208 (Lancaster County), 570-362-6837 (Schuylkill County) or 866-232-1913 — or send us an email.