Division of Marital Debts in an Orlando Divorce
When spouses get divorced in Orlando, the court will divide all marital property owned by the parties according to the theory of equitable distribution. When most parties think about the distribution of marital property, they are thinking about assets from the marriage. For example, a marital home is often classified as marital property and is subject to division, along with bank accounts, retirement accounts, furniture in the home, and various other forms of property. Yet debt (or liabilities) can also be classified as marital property. It is essential for parties to know that, under Florida law, marital property includes both assets and liabilities. As such, both assets and debts that are property of the marriage will get divided in a divorce.
The following are some things to learn and remember about the division of marital debt in a Florida divorce.
Examples of Marital Liabilities That May Be Divided in a Divorce
What kinds of debts are marital debts? In general, any debt accrued after the date of the marriage will typically be considered a marital debt or liability unless it is expressly excluded from classification as marital property. Examples of liabilities incurred after the date of the marriage that will not be classified as marital property may include, for example:
- Debts or liabilities excluded through a premarital or postnuptial agreement;
- Debts or liabilities accrued by one of the spouses as a result of a diminution in separate property; or
- Debts or liabilities accrued by one of the parties with the intention of diminishing marital property in anticipation of a divorce.
Common types of debts or liabilities that likely will be classified as marital property include, for example:
- Credit card debt on a credit card account owned by both spouses;
- Medical debt incurred by one of the spouses during the marriage; and
- Mortgage debt on a home purchased by the spouses.
How Marital Debts Are Divided in a Divorce in Orlando
Marital debts or liabilities are divided or distributed in the same manner as marital assets. Courts look to a variety of different statutory factors that may include, for example:
- Contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including contributions to child care or contributions as a homemaker;
- Economic circumstances of each of the parties;
- Duration of the marriage;
- Contribution of one of the spouses to the personal career or education of the other spouse;
- Intentional dissipation, depletion, or destruction of marital assets within two years of filing the petition for divorce;
- Desirability of each party in retaining property; and
- Other factors that would be necessary to consider in order to do justice to both parties.
Contact an Experienced Orlando Divorce Attorney for Assistance
If you have questions about the distribution of marital property in a Florida divorce, including the division of assets and debts, one of the experienced Orlando divorce lawyers at our firm can assist you. It is extremely important to have an attorney on your side during your divorce to ensure that you receive an equitable distribution of the marital property. Contact Anderson & Ferrin today to discuss your divorce case with one of our Florida family law attorneys.