Divorce is often much more complicated than couples realize, especially in comparison to the relatively sparse process a couple must go through to get married. While two people can get married with a few simple forms properly filed, divorce is not remotely as simple, even in a best case scenario.
The law requires that spouses divide up their property to obtain divorce, like when dissolving a business relationship. Marital property includes both assets and liabilities, which may mean that one spouse agrees to take on some of the other spouse's debt to reach a fair property division agreement.
If you do face the prospect of taking on some of your spouse's debt in divorce, legal guidance is very helpful. With timely intervention, you may find ways that you can avoid carrying your spouse's debt, depending on the nature of the debt itself. For instance, credit card debt is often difficult to shake, especially if both spouses co-sign for the loan. On the other hand, individuals who face difficulties with the IRS because of the poor choices of their spouse may use a number of legal provisions to relieve them of unfair tax debt. Each of your spouse's debts may require a different approach to ensure that you address them all fairly.
Two different marriages may contain very different assets and liabilities and may treat those assets and liabilities very differently. An experienced attorney can help you protect yourself from your partner's poor financial decisions and can work with you to build a personalized divorce plan. Professional legal counsel will help you understand your marital property and devise strategies to protect your rights and achieve your goals in the divorce. Be sure to give yourself all the help you need to weather this difficult season and begin again on the other side.
Source: http://corporate.findlaw.com/finance/family-debt-after-divorce.html, "Family Debt After Divorce," accessed Dec. 15, 2017