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Dealing With Debt After Divorce


If your negative emotions toward your spouse peaked before you filed for divorce, consider yourself among the lucky few.  Many divorced people find that their resentment toward their ex-spouse continues to grow even after the court declares them legally single.  A major reason for this is co-parenting conflict.  Your ex drops off the children late on Friday afternoon, making them late for orchestra rehearsal for the school choir concert, or else your ex insists that you buy swimsuits for your children so that you can take them to the water theme park but then keeps or misplaces the swimsuits so that you have to buy them a new set of swimwear for your trip to the beach.  Perhaps your ex introduces your kids to a parade of casual flings he met on dating sites but throws a temper tantrum when you bring your children to a social event at your work where they meet your coworkers of both sexes.  Even if you have an airtight parenting plan, or even if you and your ex do not have minor children together, finances still cause plenty of conflict and hard feelings between former spouses.  You can’t change your ex, but you can change your financial situation with the help of a Philadelphia debt relief lawyer.

Why Do Recently Divorced People Have So Much Debt?

Married couples often agree to remain in denial about how much debt they have and how little of a plan they have to pay it off.  Once you file for divorce, though, you must submit complete information to the court about all of your assets and debts, including those that originated during your marriage and those that you have had since before you married your spouse.  When the divorce becomes final, the court divides responsibility for any outstanding marital debts between the two spouses.  All debts incurred during the marriage are marital, regardless of which spouse signed for the loan or charged purchases on the credit card.  Most of the time, couples agree during divorce mediation on how to divide their marital debts.  When they cannot agree, the judge decides at trial.  Since Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, judges can decide on an individual basis the fairest way to divide the debts; the court does not always divide the marital debts equally.

Debt Relief Options After Divorced

If the divorce court orders you to pay alimony or child support, but you cannot pay, the only way to get out of this obligation is to go back to court and ask the judge to modify the amount.  It is sometimes possible to persuade the court that your ex-spouse no longer needs alimony, even though the court-ordered duration of the alimony has not yet expired, but children are legally entitled to financial support from both parents until they turn 18.  Many recently divorced people file for bankruptcy in order to discharge credit card debt, medical debt, unpaid personal loans, and other eligible debts left over from their marriages.  This may free up funds to pay your court-ordered child support or alimony.

Contact Louis S. Schwartz About Debt Relief for Newly Single People

A Philadelphia consumer law attorney can help you if your finances are in disarray after a divorce.  Contact Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com to set up a free, confidential consultation.



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