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Divorcing and debt: What happens to debt when you divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2022 | Divorce

Divorce is already difficult because you’re ending your relationship. An added element of frustration happens when you have significant debt on top of the divorce.

You may not have debt of your own, but your spouse may have plenty that you are worried that you’ll end up paying a portion of. It’s possible, but fortunately, debts are subject to equitable division in divorce in Florida.

Equitable division separates debt fairly in Florida

The nice thing about being in an equitable distribution state is that your debt can be divided fairly rather than equally. That means that if your spouse took out debts on their own and you didn’t benefit from them in any way, you may be able to ask that they keep them and that you don’t have to take them on in the future.

Here’s an example. If you find out that your spouse has $100,000 in debt from gambling that you had no idea about in the past, you could argue that it would be unfair for you to repay that debt since you weren’t there when it was taken on and didn’t benefit from it in any way.

In another circumstance, imagine that your spouse took out $50,000 in debt for a shared vehicle. In that case, it may make sense for the person who keeps the vehicle to take on the debt, or it could make sense for both of you to pay it off and sell it in the future.

How you handle debt will depend on what’s owed and who benefited from it

Everyone’s debts are different, so the way you’ll handle the marital debts you share will depend on various elements in your divorce case. You may be able to negotiate walking away without any debt, or you may be able to reduce the amount you’ll have to pay by showing that your spouse should be responsible for some that are in your name. To determine what happens, write out all the debts and go over them with your attorney to get a good grasp on what you owe first. Then, you can begin negotiating.