Many couples who decide to end their marriage find themselves dealing with the resulting marital debt. If you want to get a clean start post-divorce, knowing how to tackle your marital debt is essential.
To schedule a consultation with our team for your case and work with an experienced divorce lawyer, contact us online or via phone at (904) 701-0591.
Am I Responsible for Marital Debt in My Divorce?
Whether you're responsible for debt acquired during your marriage depends on whether it's marital property. Generally, the court considers assets and liabilities acquired post-marriage as marital property, so there's a good chance that if your partner is in debt, you'll end up being at least somewhat responsible for it.
Fortunately, Florida does use equitable distribution for property division disputes, which means that parties must divide assets and liabilities fairly, but not necessarily equally. As a result, if your partner accrued a significant amount of debt post-marriage and you had no part in garnering that liability, they'll probably be responsible for a majority of the debt, or even all of it, depending on the circumstances.
How Can I Take Care of Marital Debt?
The most straightforward way to take care of debt is by paying it off before finalizing your divorce.
The danger with allowing marital debt to spill over into your life post-divorce is that creditors will still expect payments on jointly-held debts. As a result, if your ex-spouse refuses to make payments or ends up missing them, your credit could be negatively affected.
Ensuring you pay off marital debts before the divorce is finalized can help ensure you're not on the hook for more debt than you can handle.
If You Can't Pay It Off, Distribute It
If you can't pay off jointly held marital debts, try and figure out how you can divide your debts fairly and then transfer them to one party.
If only one person holds the debt, you're less likely to run into issues when one person can't make payments or misses them.
Close Down Joint Accounts
Last but certainly not least, you should ensure that any joint accounts you share with your ex-spouse are immediately shut down post-divorce, and that your assets are transferred into a separate account.
Keeping a joint account may be easier, especially if you're on good terms with your ex, but it's too risky to be justifiable. You're better off with a fresh start.
Our attorneys can help you find the best path forward in your divorce, including helping you navigate marital debts. Contact our office online or via phone at (904) 701-0591 to schedule a consultation with our team.