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How is joint debt divided when divorcing in Florida?

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2023 | Divorce

Having jointly accrued debt can be a natural consequence of having been in a marriage for some time. You buy things together, you share a credit card, one (or both) of you go to school, it’s quick to accumulate. 

Just like assets, debt will need to be divided as you go through the process of divorcing. Below is a little more information on how that can work. 

Florida is an equitable distribution state 

What this means is that it follows the doctrine of dividing marital assets fairly during a divorce. This does not always mean it will be an equal split but it does mean that each party to the divorce should be given an equitable share depending on a number of factors such as length of marriage, who has custody of the children and earning potential of both parties. 

While this applies to assets, it will also apply to liabilities such as debt. 

Debt will be categorized into marital and non-marital 

As each marriage is different, consequently so is every divorce. What debts you have will be unique to you but in general terms it tends to originate from credit cards, student loans, medical debt, car loans and mortgages. 

The debt will need to be categorized before it can be divided. This means deciding whether it’s either pre-marital, marital or nonmarital. 

  • Pre-marital – accrued by one party before the marriage took place and therefore should be the responsibility of that individual only 
  • Marital – generally any debt that is accrued in the name of both parties during the length of the marriage 
  • Non-marital – belonging only to one spouse, with no benefit to the other and listed in their name only 

Division of debt is difficult in any divorce. Make sure you’re not paying for debt that’s not yours by having legal guidance behind you.