Debt is an unavoidable part of being an adult, unless you were born with the financial acumen of a hedge fund investor, which is rarely the case. Your personal debt is then added to your student debt, and when you get married you’ll need a house, at least one car, and all the other trappings of a modern life…which results in even more debt.
Managing your debt as a couple is something every married person takes as part of the deal. But what happens if your marriage isn’t working out, and divorce is the only realistic option?
During a divorce you need to be able to not only divide up your familial assets, but also any debts that have been incurred during the term of your marriage. After all, it wouldn’t be fair for either party to shoulder 100% of the debt, especially because it’s unlikely that they’re solely responsible for its accumulation.
Divorcing couples living in New Jersey are fortunate because it’s a state where “equitable distribution” is part of any divorce proceeding. Equitable division is often mistaken to mean that the total assets and financial liabilities of both parties are divided equally, but what it actually means is that they’re divided in a fair manner.
In an ideal world both parties in a divorce case would agree on the best way to divide their assets and debts, but that’s extremely rare, especially in a contested divorce. One of the most contentious areas of any divorce case is who actually “owns” specific debts, which usually leads to a lot of finger pointing. So, it usually falls to the court to decide how they should be divided, predicated on the fact a marriage in New Jersey is viewed as being an “economic partnership”.