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How to divide debts in a divorce

Georgia has one of the highest individual debt rates in the country. The median credit card debt in the state is $2,786, and that does not even include the debt people hold from medical bills and student loans. 

As a result, when people divorce in Georgia, they not only have to figure out how to divide the house and other assets, they also have to determine who will need to continue paying each debt. Before diving headfirst into divorce, you want to take stock of your finances so you can go into this discussion prepared. 

Determine who holds liability

Similar to assets, there is both separate and marital debt. Debt you incurred before the marriage will likely be solely yours to pay off. However, debt the two of you accrued together after you tied the knot will be joint. Therefore, if you took out student loans years ago prior to marriage, then you will still be solely responsible for paying them off following a divorce. However, if you two took out a credit card that is in both of your names, then any debt there will be both of yours. 

Protect yourself now from future debt

As soon as you know your marriage will end in divorce, you need to take steps to protect your finances. Shortly after filing the paperwork for divorce, you want to make sure any credit cards under both your names go under one of yours. You would not want your spouse to continue racking up debt after he or she knows divorce is imminent. Another option is to pay off all debts right now if you can. You can then take your spouse to court later to have him or her repay you. The choice is yours, but you definitely do not want to overlook your debt as you head into divorce and start the next chapter of your life.