Divorce is a complicated process in which two individuals must untangle their personal lives from one another. Longer marriages lend to a more complex process, especially if one or both spouses have significant debts to consider.
While most divorcing couples understand that it is necessary to divide their assets as part of the process, it may be less clear what happens to marital debts. You and your spouse can better prepare for the impending split by understanding what exactly happens to debts during a divorce.
Are debts split between spouses during a divorce?
Oklahoma marriage and family statutes identify property acquired during the course of a marriage as community property. This includes debts accrued either jointly or individually by either spouse. The divorce process entails splitting these community debts between divorcing spouses as equitably as possible.
How can you simplify the division of debt?
Accounting for large amounts of debt can complicate an already stressful divorce and add significant time to the overall procedure. The most straightforward way to simplify this process is to cooperate with your spouse to pay off as much outstanding debt as possible prior to an impending divorce. Another option is to arrive at a separation agreement, either through mediation or arbitration outside of court, that outlines mutually-agreeable terms for dividing debt and other assets.
It can be difficult to find a solution for favorably dividing debt between yourself and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, especially if your divorce is particularly contentious. If both sides are willing to collaborate toward an amicable outcome, however, it may become possible to take expedited control over what happens to debts in your divorce.