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Who Is Responsible for Debt After a Divorce in Georgia?

During divorce proceedings, financial matters often present complex challenges. Among these concerns, the question of who bears the burden of debt can be particularly daunting. At Brown Dutton & Crider, we recognize the importance of providing clarity and guidance on this crucial aspect of divorce law in Georgia.  

In this blog, we dive into the roles of debt responsibility post-divorce and look at key considerations such as student loans, credit card debts, mortgage obligations, and more. 

How is Debt Divided in Georgia? 

In Georgia, courts use the equitable distribution model to divide marital assets and debts in divorce proceedings. Contrary to popular belief, equitable distribution does not always mean an equal 50/50 split. This distribution model aims to achieve a fair and just allocation based on various factors, including the financial circumstances of each spouse, contributions to the marriage, and future earning capacities. 

Learn more about equitable division in Georgia by watching the video below ⤵️ 


Asset division in Georgia. We are an equitable division state. That means the Court can decide what they believe is fair. #equitabledivision #divorce #division #familylaw #assetdivision

♬ original sound – Jenni Brown I Family Law Tips

Marital vs. Separate Debt in Georgia 

One fundamental concept to grasp in Georgia divorce cases is the difference between marital and separate debt. Marital debt encompasses financial obligations incurred during the marriage for the mutual benefit of both spouses. Separate debt refers to obligations acquired by one spouse before the marriage or sometimes for individual purposes during the marriage.  

All marital debt is subject to equitable distribution, while separate debt will typically remain with the spouse who incurred it. Many types of debt could be discussed during your divorce, including: 

🎓 Student Loans: Georgia courts consider the timing and purpose of the educational pursuits. If one spouse incurred student debt before the marriage, it typically remains their separate responsibility. However, student loans obtained during the marriage for the joint benefit of the household may be classified as marital debt subject to equitable distribution. 

💳 Credit Card Debts: In Georgia, credit card debt incurred during the marriage is generally considered marital debt, regardless of whose name is on the card. However, if one spouse can demonstrate that certain credit card expenditures were for individual purposes unrelated to the marriage and unknown to the other party, it may be categorized as separate debt. 

🏠 Mortgages: In Georgia, if the mortgage was obtained during the marriage and the property is considered marital property, the associated debt is typically classified as marital debt subject to equitable distribution. Determining the responsibility for mortgage payments post-divorce often involves negotiations regarding property division. 

🚗 Car Loans: Like other types of debt incurred during the marriage, car loans taken out for the joint benefit of both spouses are generally considered marital debt. However, if one spouse exclusively used the vehicle associated with the loan, there may be arguments for allocating the debt as separate. 

💼 Business Debts: Determining the responsibility for business debts often involves assessing the nature of the business, each spouse’s level of involvement, and any agreements or contracts in place. Business valuation and asset distribution may influence how business debts are allocated between the spouses. 

However, the presence of a prenuptial agreement can significantly influence debt allocation in divorce. A well-drafted prenup can specify how debts will be divided in the event of divorce, providing clarity and minimizing conflict. It’s essential to ensure that any prenuptial agreement complies with Georgia law and is executed properly to be legally enforceable. 

Watch the video below to see why getting a prenup isn’t a bad thing ⤵️ 


Dont be upset if your soon to be spouse proposes a prenuptial agreement. Instead use this as an opportunity to protect your future! #prenup #prenuptialagreement #protectyourself

♬ original sound – Jenni Brown I Family Law Tips

Secure Your Financial Future Post-Divorce with Brown Dutton & Crider 

Navigating debt responsibility after divorce in Georgia requires a thorough understanding of legal principles. If you’re facing divorce proceedings in Georgia and have concerns about debt allocation, don’t hesitate to contact Brown Dutton & Crider for personalized legal assistance. We’re here to guide you through every step of the process and help you secure your financial future. 

If you have questions about your unique situation, contact the attorneys at Brown Dutton & Crider today. Call (678) 730-2578 or book a consultation now.