Couple discussing finances

What Happens to Debt in a Divorce?

For those seeking a divorce, splitting up marital assets is a priority, but too many overlook debt. In America, The most amicable couples can quickly run into conflict when issues around money come up.

Below, our attorneys at Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa explain how Florida courts decide on what happens to debt in a divorce.

Equitable Distribution

Florida requires the division of marital property to be fair under equitable distribution laws. Don’t be mistaken; this does not mean all assets are split 50/50. It is important to know that debt accumulated during a marriage is considered a shared responsibility, meaning they must be divided fairly too.

However, dividing assets, including debt, isn’t always a black-and-white process. In some cases, judges may divide debt unequally if it is justified. For example, if a spouse spent recklessly or incurred a large amount of debt single-handedly, the courts may assign the total amount to the negligent spouse. When dividing assets, judges will look at various circumstances, including the following:

  • Did each spouse contribute to the marriage equally?
  • What is the earning capacity of each spouse?
  • How long was the marriage?
  • Did one spouse contribute to the career and education of the other spouse?
  • Are there prenuptial or postnuptial agreements regarding debt?

What You Need to Know About Debt Division in Florida

If a spouse acquired debt before the marriage, and it still exists at the time of the divorce, that spouse will be responsible for paying. This is called non-marital debt and is not included in asset division. Only marital debts, those incurred by either spouse during the marriage, are divided in a divorce and may be assigned to either spouse for payment.

Examples of marital debts include:

  • Mortgages
  • Credit card debt
  • Business debt
  • Car loan debt
  • Medical debt

Consult Our Attorneys at Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa

The best-case scenario is to enter a divorce without any debt, but we understand this isn’t possible for many couples. Divorce can be a complicated process, and debt may add to the mounting stress you’re already experiencing. Count on our experienced attorneys to help you split your debt fairly.

Contact Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa at (305) 853-9161 to schedule an initial consultation.