Should I Get Dental Work or Medical Work Done Before I File For Divorce?
In Michigan when a couple gets divorced part of the resolution will be division of assets and debts. Different types of debts will be treated differently.
Secured debts (debts secured by property, for instance a car loan - if one does not pay, the loan is secured by the car and the bank will take the car) typically go with the property and the value of the property is discounted by the loan balance. So for instance if a party is awarded a vehicle with a Kelly Blue Book value of $15,000 and there is a loan balance of $10,000, then when it comes to dividing the property that vehicle will only have a value of $5,000. But the party that is awarded the vehicle is solely responsible for the loan. This debt is not then considered when dividing other unsecured marital debt.
Student loans typically remain the sole liability of the party that incurred the loan. If a party or the parties sign as a guarantor on one of their children's student loans, then technically the party that co-signed the loan for the child is responsible. However, often the parties will agree to equally share such loans and the same will be considered a marital debt in the overall division of the parties debts.
The remainder of unsecured debts are typically shared equally by the parties regardless of which party incurred the debt. Unsecured debts are debts such as credit card balances, medical bills and dental bills that are not secured by some underlying property. This means that if you have outstanding medical or dental needs and a divorce may be in your future you should definitely have that work done now. There are at least two reasons for this (1) if you are insured now under your spouse's insurance, you may not have the same amount of coverage after the divorce depending on the situation and (2) the outstanding balance owed to the dentist or medical professionals will be considered a joint debt and divided equally with your spouse. If you wait until after the divorce, you will be solely liable for any balance owed.
If you have questions regarding divorce or the general area of family law, please do not hesitate to call my assistant, Cathy, at (248) 608-4132 to schedule a consultation or contact us through the web site.