Yes. The court will consider the marital debts when dividing the property during Equitable Distribution. For example, if awarded a car valued at $12,000.00, but you owe a $10,000.00 debt on the same vehicle, the court will take that debt into consideration in the overall division of the assets. Similarly, if one spouse agrees to pay substantial marital credit card debt, this obligation may also be considered in the final determination of the division of property.

If your spouse incurred debts that you believe should be his or her sole responsibility, tell your attorney.  Debts incurred that are not for the benefit of the marriage are not marital and are treated separately from those incurred during the marriage.  For example, if your spouse spent large sums of money on gambling or illegal drugs without your knowledge, you may be able to argue that those debts should be the sole responsibility of your spouse.

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