Wednesday, August 17, 2016

MARITAL DEBT - EQUALLY SHARED OR EQUITABLY DISTRIBUTED OR SEPARATE LIABILITY



Wagner v. Wagner, 2016 NY Slip Op 847 - NY: Appellate Div., 4th Dept. 2016:

"We reject defendant's contention that Supreme Court abused its discretion in determining that the parties' credit card debt was a marital liability......"It is also well settled that trial courts are granted substantial discretion in determining what distribution of marital property[ — including debt — ]will be equitable under all the circumstances" (id. at 1429 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see McKeever v McKeever, 8 AD3d 702, 702-703 [2004]). "[E]xpenses incurred prior to the commencement of a divorce action constitute marital debt and should be equally shared by the parties" (Malachowski v Daly, 87 AD3d 1321, 1322 [2011] [internal quotation marks omitted]). "Where, however, the indebtedness is incurred by one party for his or her exclusive benefit or in pursuit of his or her separate interests, the obligation should remain that party's separate liability" (Jonas v Jonas, 241 AD2d 839, 840 [1997]; see Oliver, 70 AD3d at 1429; McKeever, 8 AD3d at 703).""

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