Will the distribution of debt include pre-marital debts?

Divorce attorney Jason BowmanQuestion:

My wife and I are almost in the final stages of our divorce that has been going on for over a year. I assume I will have to pay for some of the debts of the marriage.

But will the distributed debt include the credit card debt she brought into the marriage and the debt she has since gotten into after we separated but before the divorce is finalized?

She has an attorney and I am doing the divorce pro se so I want to make sure this is addressed properly.


First let me preface my answer by stating that I am not licensed to practice in the state of Indiana. Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers in Indiana that would be happy to discuss your case with you.

The job of the opposing party’s attorney is to maximize what their client is to receive and look out for their client’s best interest. That can include shifting any debt that may be the sole responsibility of their client to the opposing party.

Depending upon the state in which you live in, some courts will assign debts by looking at the purpose for which the debt was incurred and who it benefited. If the debt was incurred to benefit one party over the other, then the court may assign that debt to the party who incurred the debt and not treat the debt as marital.

If you are proceeding without an attorney, you should immediately seek an attorney who can at least review the proposal and give you advice that is specific for your jurisdiction.


Jason Bowman is an attorney in the Louisville, Kentucky, office of Cordell & Cordell. He is licensed in the states of Kentucky and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Louisville, and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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