How Are Debts Divided During a Divorce in Tampa, Florida?

How Are Debts Divided During a Divorce in Tampa, Florida?

When you are considering the divorce process in Tampa, Florida, you will likely have questions about how your assets and liabilities will be divided. The unfortunate truth is that many married couples have various types of debt that they are working on taking care of together. When it comes time for divorce, how should these debts be divided between two spouses?

At Robert Sparks Attorneys, our skilled Tampa divorce lawyers want to help you through the difficult trials of divorce so that you can get back on your feet during these challenging times. We want to provide you with the support and advice that you need. Contact us for a one-on-one consultation that comes at no obligation to you.

Understanding the Various Types of Debt in a Divorce

When it comes to marital debt such as credit card or loan debt, courts in Tampa will attempt to divide all of the debts as equally as possible. However, some debts may have come into play at a different time in a spouse’s life – such as before the marriage. Understanding the various types of debt two spouses may have can help you determine how debts will be divided in your specific case. These types of debts include the following:

gavel-and-cashPremarital Debts: These types of debts are those that a spouse incurred before the marriage took place. For instance, they can apply to debt that a spouse had on a credit card in their name before they even met their spouse. If the other spouse did not use the credit cards, then Florida courts will consider this and they will only be the responsibility of the spouse whose name is on the cards.

Non-Marital Debts: Even if certain debts were acquired during the marriage, they may still be considered non-martial debts. An example of this is if only one spouse held a credit card in their name that was not paid with marital funds. This could be considered separate property in some occasions, especially in cases where the cards were used for sole business expenses related to one spouse. It is up to the courts to decide how these debts should be divided. 

Marital Debts: If a credit card was opened up in the names of both spouses, this means that it is martial debt and will be divided fairly between the two parties. Even if only one spouse held the card, it could still be considered marital debt if the funds were used for the benefit of both parties.

One aspect to consider is that the courts often allocate debts based on the spouse who has the greatest ability to repay the debts. Each situation is unique in its own way and all circumstances of the marriage must be considered. This is why it is crucial that you have legal help on your side as you consider assets and debts in your divorce.

Preparing for Debt Division in Divorce

It is important to prepare before your divorce as it concerns your debts and any other assets that could be divided between you. Take notes of all names connected to the debts that you and your spouse hold, and whether or not either party exclusively owns the debts. Even if your name is on a bill and your spouse agreed to pay it, you could still be responsible for the bill as well. These considerations are important.

If you have known debt between both of you and want to take care of it before the final divorce papers are signed, you can choose to do so. Many spouses will sell real estate or items that they own to pay off their debts. However, before you make any of these decisions, you should speak with a knowledgeable lawyer who can give you the best advice.

Count on Robert Sparks Attorneys for Experience and Compassionate Care

It is never easy to deal with the stress of a divorce, especially when debt is a major concern for both parties. You can count on the experience of our team at Robert Sparks Attorneys to guide you in the right direction when it comes to your divorce. We have both the skill and dedication necessary to help you achieve results in your divorce. To learn more about your options, contact us for a free and confidential case consultation.