Bethel, CT asked in Divorce and Family Law for Pennsylvania

Q: Is wife’s debt consolidation the husbands responsibility after divorce?

Wife accrued debt prior to marriage. During course of marriage, debt was consolidated. Would husband be responsible for the ex wife’s debt after divorce?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
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  • Schenectady, NY
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: This question's simple answer is that once separate assets are commingled with marital assets, they become marital assets. Separate debt commingled with martial debt becomes marital debt.

The question's more complicated and more accurate answer is that Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state. This means the judge can group assets in different ways and split them according to what is fair given the totality of the marriage's financial circumstances. Most often in marriage of long duration, a judge aims for a 50/50 split between the spouses, but if some mismanagement or waste appears in the record, the judge is able to deviate from 50/50 to what is fair between the parties.

This also means that neither party is bound to accurately and precisely produce disclosure to the court. A judge can fill in gaps in disclosure and enter an order equitably distributing the martial assets.

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