As unfortunate as it is to hear, the answer to that hard question is, possibly. No divorce trail is painless, but it can be even worse if a lot of debt is looming over both of your heads. You may worry how much of that debt you're going to be burdened by when the court finally makes its decision.
Since Texas is a “community property” state when it comes to the matter of asset division in divorce (meaning that the court assumes the marriage's property belongs to both of you equally and, generally speaking, should be split evenly), that also means that debts accrued during the marriage will likely be divided with an eye to equality and fairness as well. Thus, you may become liable for a portion of the debt incurred by your ex-spouse during the marriage, whether you even knew they created the debt.
However, all the debts need not always be split an even 50-50. It's possible that if one of you incurred a specific debt prior to the marriage or for their sole benefit, then that person might be liable for all or at least a greater portion of that particular debt.
Consider these examples of specific debts that you or your ex-spouse might be held responsible for because of being the borrower:
- Student loans
- Business debts
- Alimony or child support from an earlier marriage
- Criminal fines or restitution
Also keep in mind that, although the court may order that you're responsible for paying part of your ex's debt, banks and other creditors will still come after the person whose name is on the debt. Don't let these creditors' demands for their money trick you into thinking your ex and you aren't jointly responsible for whatever amount the court decides.
Legal help for your side of the debt division
The process of debt and property division is complicated, and it's easy to get confused and frustrated. If you are worried about potentially getting an unfair amount of debt from your marriage, it's critical that you understand your legal rights. Talk to an experienced Dallas divorce attorney who can fight for you and help you get the fairest treatment available under Texas law.