Exceptions to the Rules for LiabilitiesDuring your divorce, debts and liabilities will be evaluated under certain rules. Despite these rules, certain circumstances will be assessed as exceptions to the rules.

Situations Benefiting the Family

One circumstance seen as a valid exception to the rules governing liabilities is when the couple has decided that the family benefited from an expense incurred by only one spouse. An example of this would be a vacation for both spouses and their children that was booked by the husband only. Normally, the rule would state that as a luxury taken on by one spouse, this expense would be outside of the marital debts. 

Exclusion Exceptions

An expense incurred during the marriage that would normally be considered to be a marital debt may be excluded in certain circumstances. For example, it would be an exception to the rule if a husband took a trip during marriage on which he participated in an extramarital affair. This cost, though incurred during marriage, would not be considered a marital debt.

Gifts Between Spouses

A gift from one spouse to the other may fall under an exception. One example to describe this situation is if the decision to incur the cost of the gift was made solely by one spouse. Even if the debt was acquired during marriage, the fact that the decision was not made mutually will cause it to fall outside of the marital debt.

Final Example

A final example: a spouse uses marital debt incurred by the other spouse as a negotiating tool toward a favorable divorce settlement. Without an applicable exception, this debt would have been excluded from the marital debt.