Can a Marital Debt Affect Alimony Payments?

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When you get married, you often end up accumulating debt together. When you get a divorce, any of those remaining debts need to be dealt with. A divorce agreement might also require one spouse to make alimony payments to the other spouse. Do your marital debts and alimony payment arrangements affect each other? Usually, these two issues do not really intersect. If you are unsure about how these things will be dealt with, an experienced Tazewell County alimony lawyer can be your guide.

Will Our Marital Debt Affect Alimony Payments?

Your marital debt is unlikely to affect how your alimony payments are calculated. In most situations, these are two different issues to the court. Your marital debt needs to be split up among both spouses, as if it were an asset. An alimony arrangement is reached based on the needs of one spouse and how much the other can pay to support them during the divorce and after. So how much debt you hold as a couple or separately is unlikely to factor in when your alimony agreement is reached.

How is Marital Debt Dealt With?

As we mentioned, marital debt is split up just like your marital assets are. So, in a divorce, one person can get the car, the house, or another high-value item. One person can also get a chunk of the debt, and they would be responsible for paying that off.

Marital debt is spread out in an “equitable” fashion, not an even one. That means that there is not a perfect 50/50 distribution of property. Instead, the needs and financial situation of each spouse must be evaluated.

What Determines Alimony Payments?

When alimony payments are calculated, the court looks at a number of different factors to figure out who would need alimony, how long they might need it, and even what they should put that money towards. The court might consider:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The education and earning potential of both spouses
  • The salaries of both spouses
  • The age and health of each spouse

These are going to be far more important when alimony is being worked out. The court also has to decide what kind of alimony should be awarded. One spouse could get short-term alimony that helps them along during the divorce process. They could also receive long-term spousal support after the marriage ends. This can last for a fixed amount of time or indefinitely, meaning that there would need to be a significant change in the finances or lifestyle of the receiving spouse in order to adjust the agreement.

Talk to a Divorce Lawyer

If you are getting a divorce, you need a seasoned lawyer by your side, someone who is ready to help you fight for the best possible outcome. So contact Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. and schedule a consultation with our team. We would love to tell you more about how we can help you.

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