Debt and divorce – Money issues

If you are married in a community of property and you get a divorce, then your debts will be divided in addition to your assets. But what about debts for which you have not signed yourself?

In the Netherlands you automatically marry in community of property, unless you have established marital conditions. Marriage in community of property means that all your possessions and debts belong to you, regardless of whether you obtain these assets or debts before or during your marriage. (Incidentally, there is a bill to change this.) As long as it’s all in your relationship, you probably won’t have that problem with that. But what if you now get a divorce, what about any debts?

Debt and divorce

Debt and divorce

The moment you decide to end your marriage, your joint assets and debts must be divided. This is done on the basis of a 50/50 distribution, regardless of who earned what during the marriage. So even though one party brought home € 3,000 a month and the other one does not earn € 800, everything that you have accumulated together is distributed on a 50/50 basis. This applies not only to all assets and positive balances, but also to debts incurred during the marriage. Yes, even if you didn’t sign for this yourself!

The debt is yours

The debt is yours

A classic example is one of the partners who decides to buy something based on a (mail order) credit , so for example a television, bank or car. The moment the credit is taken out, it is often sufficient when one of the partners puts his / her signature. That does not mean that, in the event of a divorce, the debt is automatically assigned to the person whose scrap is covered by the contract: the debt is yours. In such a case, it is often agreed that one of the two parties will take on the residual debt, but that he or she may also keep the good for which the debt has been incurred (ie the TV, the car or the bank).

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