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How do you divide debts in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2019 | Family Law

Florida is an equitable distribution state. Equitable distribution refers to fair division of property and assets. If you and your spouse built up a debt history, then your debts are a shared responsibility. Since they are a shared responsibility, you have to split the debts.

There are two types of debts. There is marital debt and nonmarital debt. Nonmarital debt refers to debts that a person acquires before the marriage. If you had a credit card before you were married and made substantial purchases that you still owe, then you will be the only one responsible for it after the divorce. In addition to debt that you accrued before marriage, this also includes any debt that you and your partner have a written agreement excluding.

Marital debts, on the other hand, are debts that you both incurred. Say that you both have separate credit cards and you made the purchases. Your spouse is still responsible for those debts. Marital debts are the only debt that you will divide. Either party may have to pay the debts. These debts may include credit cards, business debts, car loans, mortgages and more.

If you do not decide how to split your debt with your spouse, then the court will make the decision. The court looks at a number of factors. Most of the time, the court chooses to split it fairly. However, if the spouses did not contribute to the marriage equally or if one spouse has less of an earning capacity, then the court may decide to split the debts differently.

This information is for educational purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.