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Here is how debt division works in a Florida divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2022 | Equitable Distribution

You should be concerned about how much debt you will be left dealing with after your divorce. If you have too much debt, you may struggle financially after divorce.

In Florida, debt accrued during the marriage is considered part of the marital estate. Division is done according to state laws if there is no binding agreement such as a prenup.

Florida is an equitable distribution state

Debt division starts with classifying debts as either marital or personal. While everyone is answerable for their personal debts, any joint debt will be divided equitably. Here is what this means.

Equitable distribution starts from a point of equality. However, it does not mean that division will be strictly 50/50. If an equal division of the marital debts will be unfair due to other factors in the marriage, the court will apportion marital debt accordingly. Such factors include:

  • The economic circumstances of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s contribution to the debts
  • Intentional misappropriation of the marital assets or incurring needless debts in the lead-up to the divorce
  • Whether a spouse sacrificed their career or educational progression to support the other
  • The spouse’s role in the marriage if one was the breadwinner as the other took care of the family, among others

All these will inform how much debt you will end up with when the divorce proceedings conclude.

Protecting your financial interests

The court may divide debt between spouses, but it does not absolve you from a debt contract. As a result, creditors can still come after you should your ex fail to pay the joint debt that the court assigned to them.

Understanding your legal options and what you need to do in such a case is crucial. Otherwise, you may have to shoulder unnecessary debts, leaving you exposed financially.