If you and your spouse have called it quits on your marriage, you now need to begin preparing yourself to move forward and establish your new life as a single person once again.

Understanding your financial situation after your divorce completes is important in helping you identify what you can afford and what changes you may need to make in your lifestyle. Learning how your creditors view your divorce decree matters as well.

Financial responsibility for joint debts when married

Any joint debt accounts you and your spouse opened during your marriage may well have been paid by the two of you together either via a joint banking account or some other agreement that the two of you worked out. This would be logical in part because your creditors would consider both of you to be responsible for the debt if both of your names were listed as owners on the accounts.

Financial responsibility for joint debts when divorced

As explained by U.S. News and World Report, you may be viewed as responsible for a debt your former spouse agreed to pay even if your divorce decree stipulates otherwise. This may happen when both of your names remain on a credit account even after you are divorced. Some couples work to pay off joint debt before getting divorced or as part of their divorce settlement to avoid this problem.

More information about some of the issues relating to the division of assets and debts during a divorce may be found on the debt and divorce negotiations page of our New York divorce and family law website.