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Family Law

How will we divide our property and debts?

I was just served with papers for divorce or paternity. What is going on?
What is involved in a divorce or paternity case?
Can my ex take my kids away from me?
How much will child support be?
How will we divide our property and debts?
Can I get maintenance or alimony?
My ex is not following the parenting plan. What can I do?
How can I change my parenting plan?

In a divorce, property is considered either marital or non-marital property. As a general rule, property which is obtained outside of the marriage is considered non-marital property and property obtained during the marriage is marital. For instance if one spouse stays at home with the kids while the other spouse earns a paycheck, the court will treat the paycheck to be marital property which is owned by both spouses.

The court will allow each spouse to have their own non-marital property and will fairly divide the marital property.

The court will divide debts the same way as it does property—with one important difference. A debt involves a contract between a creditor and a debtor. This may be one or both of the parties. The creditor is not a party to the divorce and is not bound by the court's judgment. For example, if both spouses purchase a house during the marriage and finance the purchase through a bank, both spouses are liable to pay the loan. If the spouses divorce, the court may award the house to the wife as well as the debt on the house. Between the husband and wife, the wife is obliged to pay the mortgage. But if she fails to pay the loan, the bank will go after both spouses because they both signed the loan.