The divorce process can be stressful, particularly when it comes to the division of assets, property and debt obligations. The manner in which debts are allocated after divorce can have a significant impact on a person for many years.
The state of Florida adopts the equitable distribution doctrine when dividing assets and liabilities during the divorce process. As a result, property and debt will be divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Typically, the spouse who earns more money will take on a larger portion of the marital debt. However, no two cases are the same, and each will be considered on their own merit.
Before allocating debts during a divorce, the courts will divide them into the following three categories:
A premarital debt may be established if a spouse can prove that the debt was incurred before the marriage commenced. More common examples of premarital debt include student loans as well as credit card debts. If one spouse has had no use of a credit card and debt has been built up by their former partner, then they will not be held liable for the amount.
Non-marital debt is any sum that is registered solely in the name of one spouse. Crucially, to be considered non-marital debt, the other spouse must definitively prove that they have not benefited from that debt at all.
Marital debt is applicable to all debts that occurred in both names during the marriage. These debts will be subject to Florida’s equitable distribution principle unless one spouse can prove they did not benefit or that the money was never used to purchase shared items for the family.
Familiarizing yourself with the law on the division of debt in a Florida divorce can help to protect your interests. Divorce can be a demanding process and it helps greatly to be aware of your legal rights and obligations.