Florida Divorce: How is Debt Divided?
Asset division is often one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. This includes the division of marital debts. No one wants to pay more than their fair share of the bills. If you are concerned that you are going to get stuck with spouse’s debts after your divorce, please contact an experienced Orlando divorce attorney for immediate legal assistance.
Equitable Distribution of Debt
Similar to the division of assets, Florida uses an equitable distribution process to divide marital debt. Debt is necessarily not divided evenly, it is divided fairly. The court will consider many different factors when determined a fair debt allocation; this includes:
- The current and future earning capacity of each spouse;
- The nature of the marriage, including factors such as the length of the marriage and if a spouse took time away from their career to raise the family;
- The specific circumstances surrounding each debt; and
- Any other relevant financial or marital considerations.
Ultimately, the court will need to look at the totality of the marriage and determine what is the most fair solution. For example, if the spouse has much higher earning power, they may end up carrying more of the debt. The equitable distribution process leaves considerable room for Florida courts to make judgments. If your divorce involves significant assets or debts, you need an experienced divorce attorney by your side.
Should My Name be Removed from the Account?
Many times, the responsibility for certain debts will be assigned entirely to one party. For example, if you and your spouse have a joint credit card account with a remaining $12,000 balance, the divorce agreement might assign the responsibility of those payments to your spouse. In that situation, you should get your name off of that account. As long as your name remains on the account, the creditor may attempt to come after you for any missed payments.
What if My Spouse Started Racking Up Credit Card Debt During the Divorce?
Unfortunately, credit card abuse is not unheard of in divorce cases. If your spouse takes a large cash advance during the divorce process, or makes several large credit card purchases, you can fight the responsibility for that debt. Remember, equitable distribution is about fairness. As long as you can prove that your spouse used that money for ‘personal reasons’ then you should not be held liable for that debt. In this situation, you need to document everything. Get all credit card statements together, along with any other supporting information, and get those documents into the hands of an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Contact An Experienced Orlando Divorce Attorney
At Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., we ensure that our clients receive a fair distribution of the marital assets and liabilities. You should not receive a disproportionate share of the debt. Your case deserves individualized attention. If you have any questions about Florida divorces and debt, or asset division in general, please contact our Orlando office today at (407) 521-7171.