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During a divorce, can I ask for reimbursement on marital debt?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2022 | Divorce, Family Law |

In a Texas divorce, property disputes and financial concerns frequently focus on who will keep certain items from the marriage. There may also be disagreement about properties such as a family-run business that might have been owned by one spouse prior to the marriage but grew in value through contributions from the non-owning spouse. For payments and accumulated debt from the marriage, there could be an attempt to be reimbursed. It is important to understand how this aspect of the law is handled during the case.

How might reimbursement be addressed in a divorce?

There are many reasons for which a person can ask for reimbursement. If one person paid for another’s credit card debt or other unsecured liabilities, this could be justification to ask for reimbursement. As with the previously mentioned example of a business, if a party worked for the business using their time, effort and abilities to improve it and the other spouse failed to adequately compensate them for it, this is another reason for reimbursement.

When there was a debt on a property like a home from before the marriage and its principal was reduced through payments made by the owner’s spouse, this too is a reason to make the request. This is also true for debt on property that was acquired as a gift, via devise or descent. Reimbursement can be requested on reduced principal on debt that came about during the marriage, was acquired from a lien on property, or was garnered to acquire or make capital improvements on a property.

The court can handle these claims in several ways. It might order there to be reimbursement or it could say that the claims from both sides offset and the parties are essentially even. The court will consider the value of various properties and if it was enhanced through the contribution of the other party.

Help with property division should include knowing about reimbursements

Disputes over property division are common in family law cases and most people think about businesses, homes, automobiles, bank accounts, retirement accounts, items of sentimental value and other items. Seeking reimbursement on debt might also be part of a case. Knowing how the court will analyze these claims and strive to come to a fair resolution is imperative. There might be ways to negotiate the debt. For advice with any aspect of a divorce, it is useful to have professional help.