Reginald Black

Feb 20, 2017

I can\'t say enough about Kathleen Gingrich. I needed her services at a very difficult time in my life. ...

Deb Hoffert

Feb 08, 2017

I can not say enough great things about this law firm. Everyone is extremely knowledgeable, professional and above all else ...

John Arena

Feb 01, 2017

Peter Russo and the staff at his firm have handled my personal and professional business for almost a decade. His ...

rick scott

Feb 01, 2017

Peter was easy to work with and handled my case first class. He was knowledgeable about my case (possible age ...

Jenn Spears Brenize

Feb 01, 2017

Peter is extremely knowledgeable and aggressive, yet even-tempered. He is professional, diligent, and compassionate, and responsive to his clients\' ...

Robert Davis

Jul 25, 2018

WERE BACK !! First and foremost Peter has a sense of humor. Peter was efficient and effective and on point when ...

Angela Reighard

Jun 26, 2018

Kara Haggerty was an amazing attorney. She handled my highly toxic divorce with aplomb, carefully and skillfully. Megan was also ...

Bob Levin

May 11, 2018

I have been working with Peter for last 3 years and the experience has been worthwhile. He is a man of ...

Beth Sizer

Mar 22, 2018

I am a grandmother who just wants to be involved with her only grandson\'s life in every way, watch ...


Jan 10, 2018

Peter is an excellent attorney! He is caring and effective in his representations.

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Both assets and debt are divided during property division

When a couple is preparing to end a marriage, one of the primary areas of focus is the division of marital wealth. Many Pennsylvania spouses spend a great deal of time and effort considering which assets to pursue within the property division portion of their divorce but give very little attention to matters of debt. When it comes to the division of finances, both assets and debt are included. Understanding which debts will be included within that process is important for spouses who are concerned about their post-divorce finances.

When it comes to debt held within a marriage, the law looks at when the debt was taken on. Debt acquired before the date of marriage is usually considered to be separate from marital debt, which is considered as all debt that is accumulated after the date of marriage but before the time of separation. Examples of separate debt would be credit card balances that were in existence at the time of marriage. Student loan debt acquired before the marriage is another example of separate debt and will likely be retained by the spouse who took out those loans.

When it comes to debt acquired during the course of the marriage, the law considers those obligations to be marital debt. This is true even in cases where one spouse was unaware that the debt was being taken on, or when the items purchased were for the benefit of only one spouse. In some cases, an exception is made when the debt was acquired during the course of an extramarital affair. Mortgages and auto loans that were initiated during the marriage are also considered to be marital debt.

Spouses who are preparing to divorce should make it a priority to assess the full range of all debt, regardless of whether it is held by one or both parties. Having this information can help a Pennsylvania spouse to make an informed estimation of how debt will be handled during property division. That, in turn, allows one to create a post-divorce budget that can support financial stability in the months and years following the end of the marriage.

Source: TIME, “What Happens to My Debt If I Get a Divorce?“, Leslie Tayne, June 23, 2015