St. Louis Marital Debts Attorney
Who pays the unpaid bills when parties divorce?
In Missouri, the law recognizes two types of property – separate and marital. Separate property is the property of one spouse obtained prior to the marriage. Marital property is property the parties obtained during the marriage. Sometimes a party can convert separate property to marital property by, for example, titling a house purchased prior to the marriage jointly in the names of both parties. One challenge in dividing property is untangling commingled property.
Debts are part of property. Debts incurred by an individual prior to marriage remain separate property and that party’s responsibility, unless the debt somehow became converted during the marriage. Debts incurred during the marriage are considered marital property.
Generally, the court must make an equitable distribution of marital property and set aside to each party his or her separate property. Property includes both assets and liabilities. The court will start from a 50-50 division and depart if the circumstances warrant, after considering the economic circumstances of each party at the time of dissolution, including how to handle the marital residence; the contribution of each spouse to the marital property; the value of the separate property of each party; the conduct of the parties during the marriage; and the custodial arrangements for the children.
Marital debts can range from small credit card balances to multiple mortgages on the marital residence. Dividing debt in a way to assure a fair division and efficient payment without undue burden is more of an art than a science. No party wants to leave a divorce feeling more burdened financially or with a damaged credit rating or even at risk of bankruptcy.
To be sure you have all the protections of the law, you should consult with a skilled and experienced family law attorney before making any decisions regarding marital debts.
Getting Help in Marital Debts
As you can see from the issues to resolve, the process is not just a short set of simple, self-executing rules, but involves many complex and often difficult questions of proof. Only a skilled and experienced attorney can properly advise you as to your rights with regard to property division, and protect those rights in a legal proceeding.
At The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C, we have over fifty years of combined experience handling family law matters. We help individuals understand their rights with regard to all issues, including property division. We have handled hundreds of trials before family court judges; if you choose The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C., you will have the benefit of a family law attorney unafraid to go to court, advocate on your behalf and fully present your case.
Time to Act
Time is of the essence. As soon as you select The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. to represent you, we will immediately put our considerable experience and resources to work on your case. The sooner we can review the necessary information, the sooner we can formulate a strategy for your unique circumstances, helping to ensure the best possible outcome.