Paying Your Bills During Divorce
The important thing to understand financially when going through a divorce is that each spouse is "solidarily liable" for each others' debts that are necessities when incurred during the marriage. Thi...
To understand this further, this needs to be distinguished from interim support. With interim support, spouses have a duty to maintain the other spouse during the marriage in a manner in which they were accustomed to during the marriage as long as it is affordable for the spouses to do this without having to be forced to liquidate assets that are difficult to liquidate. This is typically set by a court or is mutually agreed-upon and then approved by a court as to how much it takes to maintain the other spouse during a divorce.
But, there can be obligations that are incurred that are either not addressed through interim spousal support or they were for some reason unforeseen. These debts though must be for necessities in order for the other spouse to be responsible for. Moreover, a creditor could be unfairly prejudiced by not knowing that one of the spouses is refusing to pay the debts of the other spouse, even though the debts are being acquired by a spouse for things that they truly need.
What does "necessities" mean? There is no definition for this. Rather, it is simply a question of fact for the court to determine. But, by thinking through what is logical and reasonable to be possible to understand what a court might define as necessitous. For instance, if a spouse was to all of a sudden come down with a serious illness in need treatment a court would likely find that this is an obligation or debt that can be obtained from the other spouse. Also, the court could also find that your attorney's fees for your divorce are a necessitous obligation that could be collected from the other spouse.
It should be understood that the spouse who incurred the debt is not off the hook just because it can be completely collected from the other spouse. Louisiana law says that such debts will be divided between the spouses according to their means. This is unless there is a matrimonial agreement and that it is divided pursuant to the way the agreement says that will be divided. Again, is "means" defined as the ability to earn an income or is it defined as the ability to satisfy debt through liquidating property?
Will Beaumont is a divorce lawyer in New Orleans. This article is strictly informational and not legal advice.
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A Metairie divorce can go well if you have the right help at your side. If you need information about this, go to: http://www.beaumontdivorce.com/.