Debt & divorce: the great divide
Sadly, debt is one of the main reasons couples divorce. Nevertheless, getting divorced does not make those haunting debts disappear. In fact, it is exactly the opposite. What happens to debt during divorce can add significant stress and contention to divorce proceedings.
Although different states have varying laws in which debt is allocated, here we will focus on what happens to debt during a divorce based on Florida law. If you are facing divorce, and reside in the Tampa Bay area or the state of Florida, here is what you need to know about debt and divorce.
First, equitable distribution is a component Florida law that refers to the way spouses divide property and debts in divorce. Where some other states have community property rules requiring exact equal division of marital property and debts, Florida law requires equitable division. Keep in mind, that equitable division of marital property could very well be a complete division of debt right down the middle; it just depends on the couple’s individual circumstances.
Separate property, in the state of Florida, is any property owned before marriage, acquired through inheritance, or gifted to the individual. If the property does not specify to be shared with the individual’s spouse, then it is considered separate property. Separate property includes:
- Income from separate property that has not been “commingling” by the spouses during their marriage.
- Items purchased with separate property
- Items exchanged for separate property
- Assets a couple defines as separate property through a prenuptial agreement.
Here is how property and other debt can be divided in Florida:
- During the marriage, if either spouse interrupted a career or education to support the other spouse’s career or education
- Each spouse’s debts and liabilities
- Whether marital assets were intentionally destroyed, either during the divorce petition, or within the two years preceding it
- Each spouse’s overall economic circumstance
- Minor children, or either spouse, living in the marital home
- Each spouse’s contribution and improvement of material assets
- Each spouse’s contribution of non-material assets as a homemaker
If you are facing divorce in Tampa, it is imperative that you protect your assets and the contributions you have made against the division of debt during a divorce. The Tampa divorce lawyer at The Law Offices of Mark G. Rodriguez in Tampa, Florida has the knowledge and legal savvy you need. Contact The Law Offices of Mark G. Rodriguez today, at 813-227-9642 or online to schedule a free consultation.