In Texas, there is no such thing as “community debt.” That term is often used to refer to any debt that has been incurred during the marriage.
But in Texas, the law does look at what is an equitable, just, and the right division of all assets and debts. That is where you get down to the facts to decide how you’re going to handle those assets and debts, and what the outcomes will be as far as the different economic positions of the spouses post-divorce.
It was the family that made the joint decision to prioritize helping one spouse get a higher level of education.
And in most cases, that resulted in the family taking on new debt. When they made that decision, it was usually for the purpose of being able to provide for themselves and their children at a higher level than they would have without that degree. Sometimes this decision was made in order for the stay-at-home parent to return to school after the children were older in order to pursue a career.
Issues arise when the family decides a divorce is necessary.
One of those issues can be that one spouse essentially put their spouse through a PhD program. You can’t split a degree in a divorce decree and give somebody half of a Master’s or PhD because the degree goes with the person who earned it and it therefore follows – so does the additional income that this advanced degree affords. So, what do you do in this circumstance?
In this divorce, you must look at the equities involved and take into consideration how the divorce will affect the children and each parent’s ability to provide for and care for the kids and themselves post-divorce. A family with five children with one spouse working on a PhD, may be struggling to cover their expenses.
There are many nuances in each scenario. It’s never a one size fits all.
That is one of the benefits of using the Collaborative Divorce process. The collaborative team includes professionals that can examine those nuances and help the couple to make equitable, just and right decisions on the divisions of the assets and debts that this family has developed, in order for the family to move forward in as best a position as possible for their economic futures.