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Can the Court Divide Debt Upon Divorce in Maryland?
The Maryland Court cannot divide debts between spouses upon divorce.
Therefore, one spouse cannot be held liable for the other spouse's debts. Spouses are jointly liable for debts in their joint names, although the Court cannot require either spouse to satisfy joint debts.
Debts of both spouses will nonetheless be considered by the Court as a factor when determining the amount of any monetary award to either spouse. When making a monetary award, the Court must consider as one of several factors each party's economic circumstances at the time of the award, including all income, expenses, assets and liabilities.
Even if a spouse's debts are non-marital or unrelated to the acquisition of marital property, the debts will be considered by the Court upon divorce in order to determine what is a fair and equitable monetary award under the parties' circumstances.
Maryland law requires equitable distribution of property in a divorce. The court determines a fair award of property and debt. Unless the couple can reach a settlement, the court divides the marital property, pension, retirement, profit sharing or deferred-compensation plans. The court considers contributions of each party, the well being of the family, the property value, the economic circumstances of each spouse as well as current situations such as age, mental state, the duration of the marriage, and the interest each party has in the property.
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