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Personal debt before marriage

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  • Personal debt before marriage

    When I got married I owed money on a line of credit. My wife knew about it before we married. I have been trying to pay if off through the marriage but there is still a large balance.
    We are now separated.
    Is it only the debt that each of us accumulated during the marriage that affects the equalization payment at divorce time?
    I have checked the net for hours(including this forum) looking for clarification with no luck. I am not looking for any advantage to having previous debt and I fully intend to handle it myself in the future.
    I would just like to know how, if at all, my previous debt is handled in a divorce.
    I have already used up my free half hour of legal advice from a local lawyer but I did not think to ask about this.
    Any help would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Common sense has to prevail with respect to this previous debt.

    Depending on the amount; It might be cheaper to just absorb rather than spend thousands litigating over it. By going this route, the issue is solved and move to the next issue.



    • #3

      Thanks for the reply.
      I am quite happy to leave my previous debt out the separation/divorce financial equation completely.I am not looking for any advantage from it. We have discussed that before and I will keep my word. She should not have to be penalized for it.
      I have been able to find out yet exactly what part my previous debt plays in our present financial calculations. Is it something that will come into play and has to be negotiated or whether there is something in law that I have missed?


      • #4
        Sorry...that should be ' I have NOT been able to find out etc".


        • #5
          I guess I should have looked more.
          I just checked out an online version of the Ontario Government Family Law booklet and found that I can subtract the debts I had at the time of marriage.
          But...I don't want her penalized in the net property calculation for that. I guess I can do that in a separation agreement.
          One final question my wife's support for life award from a previous marriage classed as an asset or is it excluded?
          As usual...thanks in advance.


          • #6
            Thinking logically, this is how it should work.

            A)Calculate your networth at the time of marriage i.e. all assets minus liabilities.

            B)Calculate your networth at the time of separation in similar way.

            C) B minus A is net growth in your networth.

            She does the same exercise. Whoever has bigger amount in (C) pays the difference to other.

            Her support for life, I don't think that's an asset. That is a future income which will be included in her income for calculation for SS or CS, if any.


            • #7
              I appreciate your reply.
              However it doesn't look like all of these worries I had will be necessary.
              I had started to fill out a Financial Statement this afternoon when a letter arrived through e mail from her lawyer.
              It was a proposal for a separation agreement so good I could have written it myself. Neither one of us will have any claims against the other.
              I just need to get it checked by my lawyer and then that will be it. No nastiness or court fights.
              Phew! What a week this has been.
              I was pretty sure from what some of you told me with that I would not go broke over this. But until that first letter comes you can never be certain. I am keeping my fingers crossed until everything is checked out.
              Thanks again everyone for the comments.


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