When couples with significant complex assets choose to divorce, reaching fair agreements surrounding property division is often very difficult. This is even true in instances where both spouses prioritize a peaceful divorce process and fair property division terms. While those who have relatively few assets or debts between them may find it possible to quickly divide up a handful of things and go their separate ways, divorces involving robust estates often require complicated assessment and negotiation.

In many cases, this is because a couple’s assets and liabilities mix together or because a particular piece of property is both an asset and a liability, like real estate or a business. In order to reach a property division agreement that judge will approve, these divorces often mean taking on debt that you may or may not believe is rightfully yours.

Before you agree to take on a certain debt, be sure that you are actually liable to the creditor. A poorly constructed property division agreement may saddle you with debts you do not actually owe under the law. In some cases, a creditor may also attempt to collect from you for your ex-spouse’s debts, even after the divorce finalizes. If you cosigned for these debts, you may have little recourse but to pay them or possibly file bankruptcy.

An experienced attorney may be able to help you avoid some debt in your divorce. An attorney can help you scrutinize your property division agreements as well as protect your interests throughout every aspect of the divorce. With professional legal guidance, you can rest assured that your rights and priorities remain secure while you take the necessary time to assess your finances fairly and protect your divorce priorities.

Source: Findlaw, “Family Debt After Divorce,” accessed Dec. 15, 2017