Dividing Debt in Divorce

Property division and dividing debt go hand in hand during a divorce. A divorce is a disolution of a partnership, which includes a split of all that is owed and all that is possessed. Texas is a community property state, which means that the court will order a division of the debts in a way that is “just and right”. While the court may seek to divide the debts equitably, it is not required to make an equal division of the debt.

What we usually see is an equalization that includes assets and debts. If a debt is abosorbed by one party, he may see an increase in assets to offset. Many times a court will weigh how each debt benefits a party and winds up dividing debt accordingly. For instance, if a party gets an automobile, she is likely to also be required to pay the loan payments on the auto. If the marital estate has incurred an exceptional amount of debt for student loans, the party most benefiting from these loans may be ordered to take responsibility for them.

Even if the court orders one party to pay a debt, creditors who are not involved in the lawsuit may still look to both parties to pay the debt. In the event of non-payment, an argument that the family court awarded the debt to the other spouse is likely to fall on deaf ears. In a divorce decree it is important that a provision be installed that requires the party not responsible for a debt to indemnify the other for any debt collection.


If you are currently faced with divorce proceedings, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Early involvement of an attorney can ensure that you are treated fairly by the divorce court when it is dividing debt. Many people going through a divorce fail to pay attention to debt division because they are focused on the property division. Credit cards, loans, auto loans, mortgages, and student loans can cripple the future plans of a party if not addressed properly. Call our firm today and receive a free phone consultation. We can help you divide your debt fairly and protect your interests.