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Marital debt and divorce mediation for Colorado couples

As Colorado residents are likely aware, marital debt refers to any debt accrued during a marriage. The parties usually split these debts in the settlement negotiated during divorce mediation. Many couples think that when a divorce is final, any debt they do not agree to assume after the divorce is no longer his or her responsibility. Unfortunately, this may not be the case.

Simply removing the name of one party off an account does not necessarily remove his or her obligation to the creditor. The creditor only cares about being paid, not what the divorce settlement indicates. If one party fails to make payments, the creditor may just go after the other party listed on the account. The creditor is only obligated to abide by the original signed contract. If a creditor grants the use of the divorce settlement as sufficient cause to break the contract, it is because it chose to, not because it is obligated to do so.

If possible, it may be a good idea to pay off all outstanding balances prior to filing for divorce. Not much can be done after the divorce if an ex-spouse will not abide by the agreement and pay the bill on time. One way to ensure this ahead of time is to include language in the settlement that will spell out exactly what is expected of each person as far as financial and credit issues are concerned and the consequences for failing to abide by the agreement. If, a debt is not paid as agreed, the other spouse can go back to court and request relief from the judge. The hope is that each party will pay the debts he or she agreed to take on in the divorce settlement.

Coming to an agreement regarding property division can be difficult enough for a Colorado couple. When it comes to splitting the debts, conflicts can easily arise. This is an area where having a third party such as is involved in divorce mediation can help. When the parties simply cannot reach an agreement on their own, the mediator can step in and provide alternatives with which the parties can agree.

Source: The Huffington Post, What Your Divorce Attorney Won't Tell You About Marital Debt, Cathy Meyer, March 2, 2014

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Brandon Ceglian

Brandon Ceglian's practice focus is family law, landlord-tenant law / real estate, civil litigation, criminal / DUI, and collections. View Attorney Profile

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J. Adam Beckman

Adam Beckman’s areas of focus are family law, adoptions and prenuptial agreements, and criminal law/DUI. View Attorney Profile


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Daniel J. Zolnikov

Daniel Zolnikov practices in the areas of HOA, debt collections, landlord tenant, civil litigation and construction law. View Attorney Profile