When couples in Georgia and elsewhere say, "Till death do us part," many do not realize the vow also applies to the couple's debts and liabilities. Many also do not recognize that following a divorce, a person's credit score can be adversely affected by credit of an ex-spouse. This is often due to liabilities and collateralized marital property of the couple, such as joint accounts and mortgages. An individual in these circumstances may wonder whether they should pay off their ex-spouse's debt; for some, this may be beneficial.
In many cases, debt the couple shared, such as joint credit cards, remains even after the divorce process has been completed. This means that an ex-spouse's failure to pay their share of the debt will affect the credit scores of both former spouses. Working with the bank, credit bureaus and reporting agencies may assist in increasing credit scores, but not in all cases. An individual in this situation may also consider paying their ex-spouse's debt. By removing their debt, this may end the financial relationship of the couple, which may allow the individuals to get on with their new and separate lives.
Georgia is an equitable distribution state which means that if a couple is unable to agree on a division of their marital property, the court will order a property division based on what is equitable, or fair. It is important to remember that this equitable division includes not only the assets of the couple, such as the home and furniture, it also includes the couple's debts, such as the mortgage on the couple's home.
For some, it may not be possible to pay off their ex-spouse's debt. However, if it is possible, this may help both individuals have a fresh financial start.