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How debt is handled in a Florida high-asset divorce

A lot of people think of debt as something that higher-income households don’t have to worry about. However, those households typically have more debt than lower-income families. In fact, research has shown that adults with a net worth of $100,000 or more tend to have a greater likelihood of carrying credit card debt.

The debts that they carry may also be higher because the items that they buy with credit cards are more expensive. Property division is a big concern during divorce, but many people focus entirely on the division of assets. You also need to think about how the court will divide your debts.

Equitable division applies to both assets and debts

In Florida, the judge presiding over a divorce has to find a fair way to split your property if the spouses can’t. Debt will also be part of the marital estate, meaning that a judge will have to split that up as well. There are many ways to do that.

They might assign certain accounts to certain spouses. They might give one spouse more marital property and make them pay off most of the marital debt. They might even order the spouses to sell some of their assets to pay off the debt as part of the divorce proceedings.

What debts get divided?

It is the date that you incurred the debt and not the name on the account that matters the most. Your spouse may have a credit card solely in their name, but if they use it to pay for household expenses, the debt is marital.

On the other hand, if your spouse went on a spending spree when you served them with divorce paperwork, the courts may exclude some debts from the marital estate if they only benefited one person or were the result of the decline of the marriage, such as spite spending.

Figuring out what debts and assets you have is an important first step toward pushing for a fair division of them in your divorce. Your attorney can provide valuable guidance.