Dividing assets can be an emotionally charged experience. Some people may be hesitant to part with certain property that holds either emotional or financial value. However, there may be one thing that people in Ohio are eager to let their ex-spouses have — debt. Here is what one may want to keep in mind when dealing with debt during divorce.

Separating marital debt from personal debt should be the first step in this process. If one spouse borrowed money before saying “I do,” then that debt would most likely be separate property. A joint credit card acquired afterward would be marital. Like with other assets, debt accumulated during a marriage is almost always considered marital property.

If a marital debt has only one spouse’s name, he or she might get that in the divorce while the other spouse must pay back a debt or debts of similar value. Things will not necessarily be even though, because assets and debts do not have to be divided equally in Ohio, just fairly. One spouse might end up with a larger portion. A judge may even order the higher earning spouse to pay a debt that his or her ex took out.

There can be some confusion about paying back debt after divorce, though. Even if a divorce decree makes one person responsible for the debt, creditors could still come after the other person for things like nonpayment if his or her name is also on the debt. Refinancing and paying off debts before divorce can be helpful, but is not always realistic. To ensure the most agreeable outcome possible, it is often helpful to learn as much as possible about the process and to seek guidance when necessary.