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Property division can include joint debts in Tennessee

Typically, people who are going through a divorce may face a number of challenges related to the process. In addition to child support and custody, property division issues may also come up. A couple with a longer marriage may experience particularly complicated asset division issues.

Clarksville residents may be familiar with property division in divorce. Property division includes all property obtained during the marriage. However, property division isn't limited to assets and properties only; it also includes debts and other obligations, such as mortgage loans and credit card debts.

Both spouses are responsible for credit card debts in a joint account. This may seem simple, but when a divorce is finalized, a spouse's post-divorce life can be complicated by joint credit card debts. Credit card companies don't consider divorce rulings when a debt is owed. A creditor may obligate the former spouse to pay the joint debt if the other spouse failed to pay.

According to experts and financial advisers, spouses should end their marriage without joint debt, if possible. To do this, a spouse may cancel all joint credit cards and put the debt onto cards under separate names. Doing this may protect the spouse from additional debt incurred by the other. Spouses may also keep detailed records of purchases and credit card charges to determine each spouse's purchases. Apart from these, both people may pay off or divide the debt before they end the marriage. Both spouses may resolve the joint debt by having a clear agreement on how they will pay. Additionally, filing court papers about the joint credit card debts may prevent spouses from shirking their responsibilities to pay. All in all, spouses must consider debts when it comes to property division.

When spouses are resolving property division, both are required to fully disclose all assets and property, such as homes, automobiles and real estate. Doing this may ensure both spouses that these assets and debts are reasonably divided. Of course, in some cases spouses try to hide their assets to achieve a more favorable ruling; an experienced family law attorney can usually help prevent this short of activity.

Source:, "Dividing credit card debt in divorce," Amy E. Buttell, Nov. 4, 2012

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