Most people who consider what their financial position will be post-divorce often find themselves thinking about property division. After all, the division of retirement accounts, properties, vehicles and other assets can determine the standard of living one can enjoy after marriage dissolution. Yet, just as marital assets must be equitably divided during divorce, so, too, must marital debts. If mishandled, an individual can find him or herself facing a crippling share of these debts.
Debt is handled very similarly to assets during the divorce process. Those debts that are incurred during the course of marriage are likely to be considered marital debt, meaning that it will be divided equitably during marriage dissolution. Those debts that were independently held prior to marriage will likely remain solely held by that individual.
With that being said, the ultimate goal of equitable property division in Florida is to find an outcome that is fair. Therefore, although a student loan taken out by one individual during the course of marriage may fairly be assigned to that individual in divorce, the matter becomes more open to debate when the education received led to a job that allowed for further contribution to the family. In addition, a court may consider the incomes of each party when dividing marital debt. The party that makes more may be given a greater share of the debt to ensure fairness with regard to the ability to repay the debt.
Arguing over assets is a common and critical piece of divorce. Fighting over debt can be just as important. A party that does not fight for a fair distribution of marital debt can find him or herself in a burdensome financial situation for a long time post-divorce. This is why Floridians who are considering divorce may want to think about analyzing this issue with a competent divorce attorney who can help them develop the legal arguments they need to reach a fair and favorable outcome.