The first consideration involved in this issue is the determination of what is marital debt and what is separate debt. Marital debt consists only of the debt you and your spouse acquired together after the wedding took place or debt that was used to acquire items that benefited you both, such as a car that you both might use. Any debt you brought into the marriage prior to that is considered your own separate debt for which only you are responsible.
Marital debt can consist of any financial liability such as:
- Vehicle loans
- Joint credit cards
- Recreational vehicle loans
- Boat loans
Some debt may be considered “non-marital” if it was accrued in the name of only one of the spouses who did not make payments on it through shared marital funds.
If you and your spouse had different philosophies about saving and spending during your marriage, chances are you will have some differing opinions when dividing your debts in divorce. What you both can count on is that Florida Law provides that, to reach a fair outcome, the payment of debts must also be taken into consideration when dividing the assets from your marriage.
Certain steps can be taken to ensure the best outcome possible when it comes to dividing your marital debt. These include providing accurate and complete debt information to your lawyer and asking your lawyer to include provisions in your divorce decree to protect you in the future if your spouse refuses to pay his or her share.
Regardless of how the debts from your marriage are divided, you can gradually build your own independent financial success when making a fresh start after your divorce is final.
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