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Your spouse's debt is your debt

Money issues and financial concerns are the roots of many divorces. Perhaps, you're a spendthrift penny saver who would never think to hold a balance on your credit card. Meanwhile, your spouse is carrying thousands of dollars of debt due to reckless spending.

Many spouses who don't see eye to eye on financial issues end up in divorce court. When one spouse is a reckless spender, though, the other spouse may be surprised to find that he or she will be splitting much of the debt accrued by the financially irresponsible spouse.

Just like financial assets purchased following marriage, debts accrued following marriage will also be included in your marital estate and they will be divided between you and your soon-to-be ex. They might even be divided between you and your spouse equally.

You may be responsible for the debt accrued by your spouse when he or she went on a luxury clothes buying spree last summer at the mall. You'll also be responsible for the debt your spouse accrued when he or she signed the contract for a five-year gym membership, but only exercised for a week. You may even be responsible for your spouse's student loan debts.

If you're currently going through a divorce with a financially reckless spouse who is carrying a great deal of credit card and other debts, you might want to discuss this issue with your North Carolina divorce lawyer. In certain circumstances, your lawyer might be able to take action to protect you from being liable for some of your spouse's debts.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce and Property," accessed May 11, 2017

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