Divorce is often expensive, but it can be even more expensive when a couple owes money to the state or federal government for taxes. If one spouse refuses to pay his or her fair share of a tax bill, the other spouse may be on the hook for the amount owed. It is important for New Jersey couples to pay close attention to all aspects of their financial activities in order to avoid serious problems, such as owing large amounts to the IRS, after divorce. In fact, experts estimate that many people are living in ignorance of their spouse's financial "infidelity."
The act of divorcing a spouse does not automatically release the individual from the financial obligations incurred in a marriage. For example, if one spouse makes significantly more money than the other, the court may rule that this partner is responsible for 100 percent of the tax debt on a joint liability. An unpaid tax liability can cause accounts to be frozen or liens to be placed against real estate or other assets.
Couples can incur financial problems from other types of marital debt, as well. If one spouse runs up significant credit card balances, the divorce court may divide the obligation between both partners, even though only one partner incurred the debt.
Those who are facing divorce can seek the help of a divorce lawyer. An attorney could help ensure that financial obligations are fairly divided between the parties and that the client's future is protected. With the help of a divorce attorney, individuals may be able to avoid the worst of the consequences of having a spouse who was financially unfaithful.