How are finances split in divorce? 18 Answers as of June 11, 2013

If I get a divorce from my husband, will my credit card debt be split in half? Also, will I receive half of his pension and social security?

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John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
The simple answer is that marital property and debts will be distributed between the two of you fairly. After determining what is and is not marital, the question of what is fair depends on all the facts and circumstances. 50/50 is a starting point for trying to decide what is fair, but mathematical equality is not required. If you and your husband cannot agree to what is fair, the Court will do it for you. The Court can probably divide the marital part of his pension, but not his social security. Specific answers to what the Court can do with the pension requires knowing what kind of pension it is. If you were married for at least 10 years, you will be entitled to social security benefits (approximately equal to of what he gets) even if you have not worked long enough for your own benefit, but he will retain his full social security benefit. Handling the credit card will depend partly on whether it is joint or simply in your name alone, partly on what the card was used for, and partly on who has the income to be able to pay.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/3/2011
Harris Law Firm
Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
In Oregon, marital property (including debts and assets) are divided according to what the court thinks is fair. It is an equitable distribution of martial property. If, however; you have racked up a bunch of credit card debt without your husbands knowledge, the court may saddle you with that debt. You may also not be entitled to his retirement and pension.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/3/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Debts are generally divided, but the division is not automatic. If one party can show the credit card for example, was used to pay for furniture, the party taking the furniture takes the debts. There are other guidelines and limitations as well, so do not plan on getting him the other side to pay half, but that is a two way street. I just answered the pension question a second ago. Short answer on the pension is the court will split that portion of the pension earned during the marriage, not necessarily all of it and not necessarily (though it is presumed) half of the community to each. Social Security is a strange duck - it is not a matter for a divorce court to award or deny. You should contact the Social Security Administration for that question.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/2/2011
Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
Yes, all debts incurred during the marriage will be split equally. Your husbands pension and social security will be split in a pro rata share based on the time of marriage and the length of employment. You will be entitled to of the community share of the pension and social security.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/29/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Hello, The answer is "it depends" on a number of things. First, if the credit card debt was accumulated during the term of the marriage, then it will normally be considered a marital debt and both of you will have to pay it off. If he is the only one with money, then that will fall upon his shoulders. If you and he were married throughout the entire duration he was working and accruing an interest in the pension, then you would normally share in it 50/50. If you were married at least 10 years, then you are entitled to your own Social Security, even if you divorce. Consult with a Matrimonial attorney as soon as possible.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/28/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    Community property assets and debts are split 50/50 with a few exceptions. Social security is one exception.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Division of assets & liabilities depend on many factors and such divisions are not necessarily equal. If you have been married for more than 10 years you are entitled to a share of your spouses social security; but that is not dealt with in family court. Social security is federal law and not subject to state jurisdiction.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    You are entitled to a fair and equitable division of all assets and debts. This does not mean 50/50 necessarily but sometimes does. Social security is a federal benefit that cannot be divided by a state court but it can be considered and if you've been married for 10 years, you can collect a higher benefit if his income has been higher because of his earnings. Consider using the collaborative process to solve your differences.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    In a lot of cases, things are split equally. Not in all cases. I would need to talk to you in detail to answer your question. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Community assets are usually divided equally. Joint debt do not have to be divided equally, depending on each parties ability to pay such debt, and the reason it was incurred. Call a local family law lawyer to discuss the particular facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Each party is responsible for one-half of the community debt. If the debt was acquired during marriage (date of marriage to date of separation) then it is community debt and is equally divisible. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    Net assets are divided 50/50 in a divorce. Net assets are the value of the assets less the amount of the obligations. Typically, one party receives some assets and is ordered to pay some obligations, and the other party receives the other assets and is ordered to pay the other obligations. When one party can't afford to pay obligations, the other party may receive additional assets to counterbalance the additional obligations that party is ordered to pay.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Any asset or debt acquired or incurred during the marriage is presumed marital and, thus, capable of division. However, a court makes decisions with regard to division based on what it determines to be equitable. Equitable means "fair" and does not mean that all divisions will be mathematically equal.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    How all of the marital property and debt will be divided will depend on the specific facts of your case. Massachusetts courts follow the law of "equitable distribution" of property. But that does not necessarily mean dividing in "half." You should really speak to a divorce attorney to help you assess the possible outcomes of your particular case. In the meantime, you can find more information about property division on my website's blog page.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    It will be up to the divorce judge. It will further be based on the length of marriage and what the divorce judge deems equitable or fair. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/11/2013
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