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Divorce and debt in Minnesota

Debt can be an overwhelming burden for any Minnesota resident. And unfortunately, it can be even more devastating for someone after a divorce. That's because someone who's newly divorced now has only one income to pay for everything that they need. They may also have to pay for debts that were accumulated during their marriage. So here is a quick look at how courts in Minnesota view certain debt issues during a divorce.

A Minnesota court may tell one spouse to pay for some or all of a debt that is in the other spouse's name. The court may also make the other spouse pay for that debt. But it's important to remember that no matter what happens, this decision will not affect the creditor, so the company holding the debt will still demand payment. If both spouses' names are on the debt, then the creditor can sue both spouses, even if the divorce papers state that the one spouse is not responsible for the debt.

Real estate is a critical aspect of a divorce and both spouses are entitled to part of any property that was purchased during a marriage, even if it is only in one spouse's name. It's also important to understand that before any final divorce papers are signed, each spouse should understand how much debt and taxes still remains on any property that is in each spouse's name. And should both spouses be unable to agree on who should keep the property, the court will then make the final decision.

After a divorce some creditors may call the ex spouse and demand payment for a debt that is in the other spouse's name. If this debt is not a household or medical debt that was acquired during the marriage, Minnesota law states that the former spouse doesn't have to pay their former partner's debt. However, if the former spouse does make a payment on this debt, then he or she may be liable for the entire debt.

Organizing and dividing up debt that was accumulated during a marriage should be done fairly. Any Minnesota resident who is going through a divorce may want to speak to a divorce attorney in order to develop a proper plan to divide up this debt.

Source: lawhelpmn.org, "Marriage and debts in Minnesota", Accessed Oct. 16, 2015

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