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Debts & Credit Upon Divorce in Mississippi
The court can divide assets and the court can divide debts. However, a Mississippi Chancery Court order will not supersede whatever contract you signed with your creditor. For example, if the Court orders your wife to pay for the furniture that she bought in both of your names on credit at Miskelly's which is now in her new apartment and being used for her and her new boyfriend to watch Friends reruns and for who knows what else, and she fails to make timely payments, your credit will be affected. Now the court can hold her in contempt of court for failing to make payments in a timely manner and can even require her to take steps to reduce the likelihood that your good credit will be affected in the future, but her past actions and delinquencies will still be reflected on your credit report and there is a possibility that you could actually be sued because of her debt. We will do everything we can to get debts out of your name at the time of the divorce by closing accounts and paying off balances or refinancing various assets, but sometimes due to a family's financial circumstances this is virtually impossible.
I suggest that you close joint accounts and notify banks, charge cards, and others in writing that you are no longer responsible for your spouse's expenses. You may want the company to reopen an account in your own name. At the bank you may want to divide joint accounts or put them in your name or possibly withdraw funds to protect yourself from possibly becoming placed in a hardship because you are not the primary breadwinner in your home. This may make the Chancellor upset with you, but it is often easier to give money back than to go through the proper legal channels to get it back. If you are the person who supports the family, do not simply stop paying for the family living expenses until such time as an agreement can be worked out or the court makes a specific finding as to what your responsibilities will be.
Be mindful of your debt level. Be responsible with your money. Some people get into a lot of debt shortly before their marriage falls apart or shortly thereafter. Also, after the divorce do not think that you can live the life of riley just because you are now footloose and fancy free. If you have a lot of debt, you need to take steps to correct this problem as soon as possible. There will be less money than you may think to go around after you and your spouse separate. Think about it, it is impossible for two people to live separately for the same amount of money that it costs to live together. Make a budget and stick to it.
Mississippi decides property division based on equitable distribution, and they are the only state in the U.S. that takes the name on the title of property into account.
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