Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer

What Happens to Our Debts in Our Florida Divorce?

The reality is that most American couples carry debts, whether they stem from mortgages, car loans, or credit card accounts. When a couple decides to divorce, however, these debts can become even more onerous burdens, particularly when each spouse may be struggling financially in attempting to rebuild a life on his or her own. Ensuring that these debts are paid is critical to preserving your credit and moving on your with your life. The division of marital debts in your divorce is an essential issue that you simply must be prepared to resolve.

What is Marital Debt and How Is It Divided?

Florida law defines marital debt as any debt that either spouse accrued during the marriage. When parties divorce, marital debt should be equitably divided between the spouses. However, equitable is not the same as equal. Therefore, an equitable division of debts may not always result in each spouse being financially responsible for an equal amount of debts, especially where the spouses have a large disparity in income.

Your Division of Marital Debts and Your Creditors

In many cases, spouses take on joint debt during their marriages. The problem that often arises when the spouses divorce is that one spouse or the other becomes responsible for that joint debt. But what happens when your ex can’t or won’t pay the joint marital debt as ordered? Unfortunately, the law makes this answer very clear: you both are liable for the debt. Regardless of what your divorce judgment says about the division of marital debts, and regardless of the fact that your ex agreed to repay that joint car loan, your creditor can and will pursue both of you for the unpaid debt. This can result in lawsuits for non-payment of the debt, wage garnishments, and frozen bank accounts – for both of you.

Addressing and Resolving the Division of Marital Debts

The best way to successfully divide marital debts is to reach a settlement with your spouse. A settlement allows both of you the greatest amount of flexibility in structuring the debt division. It also can allow you to take steps to ensure that you won’t be penalized in the event that your spouse later fails to pay a joint debt. For instance, you can negotiate with your spouse to have him refinance the mortgage on the marital home in his own name, which will eliminate your liability for that debt. If, however, you are unable to agree on a settlement in terms of dividing your marital debts, then the court ultimately will make those decisions for you, which may not always be the decisions that you prefer.

Handle These Issues With the Help of Your Florida Divorce Lawyer

Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC, offers comprehensive legal assistance to those who are facing divorces, timesharing disputes, and any other type of family law-related issue, including post-divorce modification matters. We are well-experienced in handling all family law matters, no matter how complex, so as to allow you to get through what is likely to be an emotionally difficult process. Contact our office today by calling 954-800-2362 or filling out the online form located on our website.