When a divorce is filed, one or both spouses are often emotional, hurt, and unsure about getting divorced. These feelings may cause a spouse to take actions that he or she believes will hurt the other spouse. One of these tactics is running up large bills and debts with the belief that the other spouse will be stuck paying for half of the bills and therefore will be left with fewer assets. Another similar strategy is to purposely delay or drag out divorce proceedings so that your spouse has higher legal fees than necessary. Unfortunately, these tactics are not only likely to fail, but they also can backfire and end up hurting you.
If a divorce already has been filed, any debts that you run up are likely to belong solely to you. Any debts that you incur after the date of your separation won’t be divided up in your divorce. Rather, you will be stuck with them, which defeats the purpose of running them up in the first place.
Next, if you continue to run up debts on joint accounts, particularly after a court has warned you not to do so, the judge may punish you by ordering you to pay for your spouse’s attorney fees. The same goes for unjustifiably delaying divorce proceedings solely to cost your spouse more in attorney’s fees. You could end up being responsible for the fees that you caused by your actions.
Resolving the issues involved in your divorce is never easy, especially if you and your ex have significant debts. The outcome of your divorce case from a financial perspective can significantly affect your life for years to come. It is in these kinds of cases that a Washington divorce lawyercan be most useful to you and truly make a difference in the outcome of your case. Visit our website and click on the “Contact Us” button and fill out the online form today. If you contact us online, one of our staff members will get back to you right away.