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Dividing debt may be challenging during divorce

The dissolution of a marriage in Pennsylvania is not an easy process by any means. After all, two spouses essentially have to learn how to untangle their intertwined emotional and financial lives -- a process that can quickly become messy. A particular aspect of divorce that often leads to conflict is the division of debts, namely auto and student loan debt.

Auto loans in particular can be handled in various ways. In many situations, both spouses will keep the motor vehicles they drive and simply assume the payments, even if both of their names are on the loans. However, if they can refinance their car loans so that only their names are on the loans for the cars they plan to keep, this may help to alleviate financial conflict following the divorce.

For student loans, typically just one spouse takes out a student loan. Therefore, this spouse can expect to retain the student loan debt following the marital breakup. Still, the other party may agree to pay off the borrower's student loan as part of their divorce settlement, particularly if this other party was the primary breadwinner in the marriage.

Dividing assets and debts can understandably be complicated and overwhelming during the divorce process. However, if two divorcing spouses are willing to resolve these issues at the negotiation table, they can avoid going to divorce trial, which is oftentimes an even more stressful, costlier and lengthier process. An attorney can provide the guidance needed to ensure that one's best interests are protected during debt and property division in Pennsylvania.

Source:, "What Happens to Debt After Divorce?", Holly Johnson, March 30, 2018

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