Ohio law follows an equitable distribution property model, which means that you and your spouse will need to divide your assets and debts equitably when you divorce. The point of equitable distribution models is to make sure that you and your spouse split your assets fairly, whether or not that is equally.
The good news is that if your spouse has debts that are in their name, such as student loans, from before your divorce, those will be treated as separate debts. For other debts that were accumulated during your marriage, you may need to divide those equitably.
What does it mean to divide your debts equitably?
Here’s an example. If you and your spouse have $50,000 in debt with $25,000 in student loans and $25,000 from the purchase of a vehicle, you should look at how that debt was created. If the loans were all for one person, then it would be reasonable to ask that that person takes over the debt.
On the other hand, if you have $75,000 in debt that was for items that you both share, then both of you may split the debt equally. You could also decide to split it based on your current income and ability to pay a portion of the debt.
Dividing your debt is a part of the property division process
You will need to determine how to split your debt during your divorce. With experienced legal guidance, you can work to seek a split that’s fair based on how factors like when the debt originated, who originated it and who benefited from what the debt paid for.