Florida practices equitable distribution of property. It’s important to note that equitable does not necessarily mean equal distribution, and the state considers certain debts marital and others separate.
Premarital & Non-Marital Debts
Premarital and non-marital debts will not be divided upon divorce. A premarital debt is one a spouse incurs before marriage, the most common being credit card debt. If the other spouse did not use the credit card(s), a court will consider these debts the responsibility of the spouse whose name appears on the card.
Non-marital debts are can be acquired during the marriage, but they are:
- only listed under one spouse’s name;
- used as separate property; and/or
- not paid with marital funds.
If one spouse opens a credit card and none of the charges have contributed to the marriage, it may also be considered separate debt. For example, during the marriage, a spouse opens a credit card and only uses it for business expenses.
Debts acquired by either spouse that were made for the benefit of the marriage are considered marital debts.
Marital debts generally include:
- business debt (if the spouses own the business);
- home equity loans (or lines of credit);
- car loans; and
- some credit card debt.
Marital debt is generally split in half; however, sometimes a court will find that one person is not able to handle the financial burden of the debt and the responsibility is split to reflect that. Debt is split in this way to help the spouse who earns less avoid the burden of too much debt.
Contact Our Property Division Attorney
At Law Office of Russell S. Hershkowitz LLC, our attorney has the knowledge and legal tools to help you and your former spouse divide debt. We will do everything we can to help you decide what is most equitable.
Contact our firm online or give us a call at (407) 753-4111 for your consultation.