Just like with property, debt must be characterized as either separate or community debt. Any debt incurred by one of the spouses before the marriage is separate, and that spouse will be responsible for paying that debt.  Any debt entered into by either spouse during the marriage is presumed to be community debt.   A party can overcome the presumption by establishing that the creditor considered only the separate estate of one spouse  for satisfaction of the debt.

Once debt is characterized, the division of debt will be a factor in a “just and right division” of the community estate.  The court can consider several factors when determining which spouse to award a debt:  (1) the spouse’s ability to pay; (2) which party was awarded the property securing the debt; (3) the spouse’s relationship to the creditor; and (4) which party was responsible for the debt.   Based on these factors, one party may end up taking on significantly more debt than the other.  This is especially true if one spouse keeps the marital residence and then takes on the mortgage.

Most divorces settle, and any settlement would include division of debts.  When the case does not settle, the court can deal with debts in a few different ways.  One, the court can order the parties to sell certain assets to pay off the liabilities.  This often occurs when neither side can afford the mortgage on the marital residence on his or her own.  Two, the court can order one side to pay for a particular debt.  Finally, the court can order that the parties are jointly liable for a debt.  This is usually the least desirable outcome, as one spouse’s credit can be negatively impacted by the other spouse’s failure to pay.

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Under the Texas Family Code, there is a 30-day waiting period before you can remarry to a third party.  The reason for the waiting period is that there is a 30-day window to appeal after the divorce has become final.

The Family Code does allow the court to waive the 30-day waiting period for “good cause.”  This must be done in the divorce process.  The court must either include findings in the record on the issue or make findings of fact and conclusions of law.

When contemplating the timeline for remarriage, it is also important to remember that there is a 60-day waiting period between when you file for divorce and when a court can grant a divorce.  Therefore, you are looking at a little over 90 days before you can remarry after you file for divorce if everything is done at the earliest possible time.

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