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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 04-22-2009, 03:03 PM
ivanvector ivanvector is offline
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Default Equalization - Negative net assets?

I am in the process of negotiating a separation agreement with my ex-wife of 3.5 years. I have read much of this forum and other internet resources regarding equalization calculations, but I am unclear on a few points. Hopefully someone here can offer advice.

We both brought significant debts into the marriage, and little assets (both students). During the marriage my ex's mom paid off some of her existing loans which she racked up again on trips and furniture and such, and my loans increased a fair bit as well. As of our separation, we had significantly more debt than assets, and all but one of our loans were in either of our names (not joint). We have no real property (we were renting) and no children. Two questions:

1) I have read that the equalization formula divides our family assets, but if my share of net assets from the marriage is less than zero then my equalization payment is zero. I can't seem to confirm this in the law, can someone confirm this, or point me towards the right legal document?

2) How does legal ownership of an asset or a debt work in a marriage? I know that things like the growth in her pension are entitled to joint ownership (I legally get half) but what about debts? If a credit card is in my name, is growth of the balance considered a joint debt? Is she required to pay me half? Again, the laws that I have read refer to assets and not debts, so if someone has experience or can suggest more reading material that'd be great.

Thanks for all your help, and best of luck to those of you who are going through this too.
Old 04-23-2009, 07:39 AM
OttawaM43 OttawaM43 is offline
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I was married for just over 7 years and when we separated the material things in the house and the debt (everything was in my name). She thought because of this that she wouldn't have to pay anything. The courts told her that she owned half the debt even if they were in my name. Looks like you will both have to pick and chose what debt you will be taking on to equal 50% each. If everything is in your name you can get that particular debt signed over to her in court for her to pay. Thats how mine worked out but then again in court anything is possible.
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