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How Is Debt Divided in a Divorce in New Jersey?

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Divorce can be a complex process for many different reasons. Figuring out a divorcing couple’s finances can be particularly daunting, especially if you are unfamiliar with the divorce process in New Jersey. While a couple’s assets are split in a divorce, so is their marital debt. To learn more about how debt is divided in the divorce process, read on or reach out to a Somerset County Divorce Attorney today.


The division is ultimately decided by a judge. Any debt incurred during the length of the marriage is considered marital debt. This is because New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning debt is split fairly between spouses but not necessarily evenly. This means that debt is not necessarily split 50/50 because the judge takes a large number of factors into consideration before deciding what is fair.


There are many possible aspects of the spouses’ lives that are taken into account when making a fair and equitable decision. Some of the most commonly considered factors are:

  • Written agreements made before or during the marriage
  • Length of the marriage
  • Income or property brought into the marriage
  • Both spouses’ financial status and resources
  • Both spouses’ income
  • Age and health of both spouses
  • Present value of marital property
  • Contributions made by either spouse to alter the property’s value
  • Possible tax consequences
  • Trust funds needed for the spouses or their children
  • Both spouses’ standard of living

Debt is usually decided after the assets are split so that a more equitable decision can be made.


Yes, it is possible that your spouse’s debt can affect your credit score. If you and your spouse have a joint credit account, you are both liable for any debt accumulated on that account. Cosigning on your spouse’s loans can also possibly affect your credit card. Once the debt is split, if you accumulate your spouse’s debt from the judge’s decision then this could reflect on your credit score. The best way to avoid this is by paying off all of your and your spouse’s debts so you won’t need to worry about how it’s divided.

Are you considering divorce or already in the midst of the divorce process? Siragusa Law Firm is here to provide quality legal counseling with one of our compassionate and highly experienced attorneys. You’re not alone in this process! Contact us today for an initial consultation.

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