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How is marital debt divided in a Rhode Island divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 25, 2023 | Divorce

If you incurred any debts as a couple during your marriage, they are referred to as marital debts and are an integral part of the property division process in divorce proceedings. If there is a legally binding agreement like a prenup, its terms will guide the debt division process.

Without such an agreement, state laws will determine the marital debt each spouse will end up with if they don’t negotiate the division themselves. Here is more you need to know.

Marital debt is divided equitably

Unlike some states where marital debt is equally split, Rhode Island state laws aim for a fair division. Courts will consider various factors to determine each spouse’s share of the marital debt. It does not necessarily have to be equal.

Some of the things the court will look at when dividing marital debt include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The conduct of each party during the marriage
  • The health and age of each spouse
  • Either spouse’s wasteful dissipation of assets in the build-up to the divorce
  • The occupation, income and employability of each spouse
  • The contribution and services of either spouse as a homemaker, among others

The list goes on and on, as the court will consider other factors it finds just and proper to an equitable division of the marital debt.

Safeguard your post-divorce financial future

First, you do not want to shoulder excessive marital debt when the dust settles. Additionally, there is more to consider even after dividing marital debt. For instance, you may still be legally liable for joint debts if your ex defaults. Creditors can take action against you even after the divorce concludes since your name is still on these debts.

Reaching out for legal guidance can help you understand your rights and the options to protect yourself from liabilities stemming from unresolved marital debts.