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People usually know that they have to split up property during marriage, but sometimes they forget that any debt needs to be divided up as well. This can complicate matters a bit, but it’s easier to make it through this process with the help of a York County, PA alimony attorney. A lawyer from our firm can help you fight for the best possible outcome here, and they can tell you how your marital debt and other factors could affect alimony payments.

How Can Marital Debt Affect Alimony?

Marital debt is like any other asset in marriage. It needs to be split up. The state of Pennsylvania does this equitably, not evenly. That means that the debt is split up according to the needs and means of both partners. So someone could end up with a higher share of the debt if they have more means to pay it off and the court sees this as an equitable arrangement.

This marital debt is rather unlikely to affect any alimony arrangement though. A bigger issue could end up being separate debt held by both spouses.

What is the Difference Between Marital Debt and Separate Debt?

Separate debt is the debt each spouse brings into the marriage with them, while marital debt is the debt that a couple have run up together. Generally, if a person comes into the marriage with debt, they will leave with that debt. So if you had student loans or a separate credit card with a balance on it when you get married, that is unlikely to get divided up when marital property is being distributed.

Can a High Amount of Separate Debt Change Alimony Calculations?

It is that separate debt that could end up affecting alimony calculations. Because marital debt is dealt with in an equitable manner, one spouse is unlikely to be given more than they can handle carrying. However, separate debt can really only go to one place, the spouse who brought it into the marriage.

In some cases, that spouse might not have worked in years. They could need time to train and re-enter the workforce. Now they are looking at their own debt that needs to be paid down and a chunk of marital debt that they are responsible for. This could certainly factor in when alimony is calculated.

How Long Does an Alimony Agreement Last?

Pennsylvania has two main types of alimony:

Pedente lite alimony: This is temporary and meant to cover a spouse’s expenses during the divorce

Post-divorce alimony: As its name implies, these payments start up after the divorce is completed. The court has a lot of leeway when it comes to setting these terms, so it is possible for this alimony arrangement to be a lifelong commitment.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are ready to learn more about how a divorce lawyer from our firm can assist you, contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein. At an initial consultation, our legal team can tell you all about how we can fight for you and help you secure the most favorable agreement.