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Dividing debt in a Florida divorce

May 1, 2023 | Family Law

The process of divorce can be both emotionally and financially challenging. One of the primary concerns for many couples is determining how to divide their shared debts.

In Florida, the division of debt follows the principle of equitable distribution, which means that the courts divide the debt fairly but not necessarily equally.

Equitable distribution of debt

In Florida, the courts aim to divide marital debts equitably between both spouses. This means that the courts base the division on fairness, taking into account each spouse’s financial circumstances and ability to pay. The courts factor in things such as income, earning capacity and overall financial resources when determining how to distribute the debt.

It is important to note that only marital debt, which is debt acquired during the marriage, is subject to division in a divorce. Separate debts, which are those incurred before the marriage, typically remain the sole responsibility of the individual who incurred them.

Determining responsibility for debt

The process of determining responsibility for debt in a Florida divorce involves several steps. First, the court must identify all marital debts, which may include credit card balances, mortgages, car loans and personal loans. Next, the court evaluates each spouse’s financial situation and assesses their ability to pay the debt.

The court may then assign responsibility for certain debts to one spouse, while the other spouse is responsible for other debts. The goal is to ensure that the division is fair and does not place an undue burden on either spouse.

Understanding how the process works can help you prepare for the financial implications of divorce and ensure that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities regarding debt repayment.

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