It is an unfortunate fact of life that many marriages end in divorce. While in the long run, a divorce is often the best course of action, there can be a number of points of contention when attempting the get the process completed. Of course, one matter that can create acrimony is the division of property. What each party takes with them after the divorce can serve as the financial cornerstone of a new life. What’s more, there are vast sums of wealth that both parties are vying for in some cases.

But unlike assets or property, neither party is likely to want responsibility for debts. This is especially true if that debt absolutely belongs to the other spouse. But in some cases, debt division can play just as big a role in divorce proceedings as asset division.

So when a couple divorces, who is accountable for which debts? Well, it depends. For instance, you will not be responsible for paying off debts that your spouse incurred before the marriage. This means if your ex-spouse brought a maxed out credit card into the marriage, then that is typically his or her debt alone.

However, if you and your spouse accrued debts for family expenses, then you may both be held liable for payments. Family expenses are those that went to cover such things as medical bills and groceries.

But the percentage of debt for which a spouse will be held accountable may be contingent upon his or her circumstances. If you are concerned about your liability for payment of debts related to your marriage, you may wish to present the matter to an experienced family law attorney. The attorney could look over your financial situation and work to make sure you are not unfairly saddled with your ex-spouse’s debts.