Debts in Divorce
By: Barbara L. Baldo, Partner
When you decide to divorce, many people assume that the only information they will need to discuss during the initial consultation with an attorney is the asset picture. Houses, cars, bank accounts, and retirement assets are all important – but what about debt? It is just as important to discuss all of the outstanding debt that was accumulated during the marriage, since that also must be considered.
Gathering credit card statements, loan documents (including mortgage statements, car loan statements, student loans, etc.) documents to show any loans taken against retirement assets, and any documents that memorialize monies that are being paid to others are just as important. Remember, the marital estate includes both assets and liabilities.
And something else to consider – are you or your soon-to-be ex-spouse avid collectors of valuable items? Car collections, antique guns, coins, art work – some collections can have substantial value. Some, however, have only sentimental value, so it is important to raise the issue and let us decide how it is to be addressed.
Finally, do you own a time-share? (Please, please say no!) If the answer is yes, that needs to be part of the discussion, as well.