As a general guideline, debts and losses that occurred during a relationship are generally shared by the parties. That doesn’t necessarily mean equally but as a guideline, you should expect that there may be some distribution. That’s not always the case, and so it’s worth considering, have some of the actions of your ex-spouse perhaps led to losses, or led to debts being increased, and that might be something that’s worthwhile investigating on maybe they should share more than you, or perhaps all of it.
For example, your ex-spouse may have taken deliberate steps to try and minimise the value of the assets that you’ve got, or they may have acted recklessly, and things have been damaged. You might want to get advice as to whether that affects you, or whether you’ll be responsible for those things.
An example of when this has happened is there was a case where the husband lost money and incurred liabilities through a business that had failed. Certain circumstances meant that in that case, the judge found that the husband should be responsible for a greater share of those liabilities that are left than the wife.
In that same case, the husband also let someone live rent-free in the parties’ jointly-owned property for a period of about a year. Again, the judge found because of those circumstances, that the husband should be solely responsible for that loss, and that the wife shouldn’t bear any of that responsibility.
When we’re talking about debts, each case needs to be considered on its own individual circumstances. It’s important that you get advice to find out what any debts and losses in your relationship may mean for you in your overall property settlement.
If you are looking for this kind of advice, feel free to give us a call at Turnbull Hill Lawyers.